Alumni News:

Lifeguard Alumni
Don Rosskopf 2_edited.jpg
Passing of Don Rosskopf

Donald Robert Rosskopf
Enoch - Donald Robert Rosskopf
Born: March 16, 1932 -Glendale, CA


Died: July 27, 2018 peacefully in his home, at the age of 86, from age related illnesses including cancer and stroke - but you couldn't tell him that - a fighter till the end. Don loved life and cherished every moment he had on this earth.

Don is survived by his wife, Charlene F. (Kilmer) Rosskopf. Both were residents of Enoch City, Utah, where they have greatly enjoyed their neighbors and the close proximity to some family members. Other places of residence include: Winchester Hills, St George, Utah; Simi Valley, California; Norco, California; Sandy and Taylorsville, Utah; Buena Park, California. Together they raised 3 children, oldest son, Robert Donald (Sybil) Rosskopf, and daughters: Jerri (Thomas) Fuhriman and Jennifer (Mark) Ganowsky. Their grandchildren number 9, and great-grandchildren (up to now) number 13.

Don was the second of 3 children born to Robert Edward Rosskopf and Mildred Caroline Henrietta Sperling. He is survived by his older sister, Dorothy (Ed) Steigely, and younger brother, Kenneth (Linda) Rosskopf.

Don loved adventure, even as a child. Growing up he often dove for money off the pier in Los Angeles and Catalina for pocket change. He loved the ocean and after serving in the Navy during the Korean War, he became a life guard in his 20's, working on the Los Angeles area beaches, which is where he met the love of his life, Charlene, and they were married December 28, 1957. Don also enjoyed swimming in the ocean, water polo, camping and exploring. An avid golfer most of his life, he also rode horses, square danced, bowled, sailed, and fished.

Never afraid of a challenge, and always independent, Don started his own business. He enjoyed being an entrepreneur. Even when a business failed, he learned from his mistakes and started over. He loved the Aircraft/Missile Part business and manufactured and distributed military parts. He had an uncanny ability to recall any part number and could tell what the part was just from the number. 

Don joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints while his family was still young. He and Charlene were later sealed in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. Don loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and held many Church positions over the years, but his favorite was being a home teacher, as he loved to serve others.

Don was always patriotic and proud to be an American. He loved the Constitution and believed in divinity of it and that God inspired this great country. 

Don loved his family. He was always proud of them and happiest when spending time with his grandkids and great grandkids, all of whom adored him.

Funeral Services were held on Monday, August 6th, at the Enoch 5th Ward Building, 2233 East Village Green Road, Enoch, Utah, at 2:00 p.m. Interment was at the Enoch City Cemetery.

Passing of Bud Hustler

Bud passed away on March 19, 2018, at the age of 91 years old. Bud was born in Los Angeles to Marjorie and Clarence G. Hustler Sr. He graduated from Washington High School, and then went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during WW ll. Following the war, Bud attended U.S.C. where he earned both a B.S degree and M.S degree in Education. While a student, he played for the U.S.C water polo team and remained a passionate, lifelong Trojan!! In 1946, at the age of 18, Bud became a Los Angeles County Lifeguard. He worked ardently as a beach lifeguard for over 49 years. He also worked for the Los 

Angeles Unified School District for 42 years, teaching and serving as an administrator, in addition to officiating basketball and football games. Bud and his wife, Barbara, raised four children in Palos Verdes, Terizza (James) Miller, Larry Hustler, Kathleen (Charles) Delio, and Leigh Ann Giddings. Even with a busy schedule, Bud always found time to golf and follow his favorite sports teams. An avid adventurer, he traveled to over 109 countries, always taking the time to send postcards and bring back souvenirs from his many travels. Later on, Bud married Raquel Lemmi, eventually settling in Oceanside, where he continued to swim, golf and travel. He will be forever missed, and we will always carry his memory in our hearts. In addition to his children, grandchildren and wife, his sister, Betty Richardson, and her extended family survive Bud. A private memorial will be held in his honor, and his ashes will be scattered from the Baywatch boat into the ocean that he so loved.

Passing of Bill Kendall

It is with sorrow that we announce the recent passing of former L.A. City Ocean Lifeguard, Bill Kendall (1948 - 1952).  Born August 23, 1929.  Died May 7, 2018 at the age of 88.

Tracy Lizotte Retires

Captain Tracy Lizotte retires after 39 years on the sand. A retirement get together for Tracy was held April 7, 2018 at The Deck in Hermosa Beach. LACOLA wishes Tracy all the best as he moves on to the next phase in his life.

A Message From Tracy to the Troops

Fellow Lifeguards,

It is with great pride and sadness that I say goodbye to you after 39 years of wearing the “red and whites” in the sand. We are all so fortunate to work in a place most people in LA or tourists from around the world only get to visit briefly. It is an awesome job and responsibility to stay vigilant day after day. Now I leave that to you to raise the bar for the next generation.

I was taught early on that if each one of us just does one thing to better our service that we will continue to maintain the reputation of being the best Lifeguard Service in the world. I challenge each one of you to leave our service better than you found it. You have a unique skill set – the ability to swim. Only one in ten of those bathers you’re watching on the beach know how to swim! So keep up your skills. It’s too easy to skip a day, which turns into a week or a month, then next thing you know, it’s Spring! We get paid to get wet, not to watch people struggle.

Our careers go by faster than you think. Promoted yesterday, 2-3-4 years on, then racing up the list, ready for 24’s and so on. Appreciate every day that you get to wear the “reds”.

Finally, stay fit – get in the ocean daily and do the right thing whether you think someone is watching or not.

It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you these past four decades. See you on the sand under an umbrella holding and breaking all your rules.

Yours in Lifesaving, Captain Tracy Lizotte 


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of former Santa Monica and LA County lifeguard John Howe. John, passed away on February 3, 2017 at the age of 93.

John started his lifeguard career in 1942 for the City of Santa Monica.  He was the Superintendent of Santa Monica Beaches and Harbors, at the time of the Los Angeles Co./Santa Monica lifeguard merger in 1974.  He worked all sections of the county beaches as a Captain before his retirement in 1985.

He was also a Naval Aviator and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, achieving the rank of Captain.  He served in the Navy Reserve until he retired from the military in 1978.


John is survived by his wife, Norma Jean (Beanie), adult children Pamela, John Jr. and Susan and grandchildren Anthia and John.    

Legendary Hornet Aquatics coach Ernie Polte passed away Sept. 28, 2017 at his home in San Clemente. Ernie was 90-years old and had been fighting liver cancer for several months. A Fullerton JC graduate, Polte coached and taught at Fullerton from 1962 to 1990. Ernie was one of the first watermen to swim, play water polo, scuba dive, compete in lifeguard competitions, and open water swims right up to his 90th birthday. Services for Ernie will be announced at a later date.

Passing of Ernie Polte
Passing of John Howe

Mike passed away on September 22nd, 2017 at the age of 79. Mike was a Los Angeles County Lifeguard beginning in the 1950’s. Mike worked in the Southern Section and grew up in Hermosa Beach. Mike was an original member of the Surfing Seals club and traveled to Hawaii in 1955 with Sonny Vardeman, Bing Copeland, Steve Voorhees and Rick Stoner. In 1956, Mike began a five year stint as one of the premier competitive paddlers of his time winning races in Hawaii and the original Catalina to Manhattan Beach paddling event. Mike also traveled to Australia to compete in the Australian Olympic International Surf Championship, the predecessor to the Wieland Shield exchange that takes place every two years with the state of Victoria, Australia surf lifesavers.

Passing of Mike Bright
Mike Bright
Passing of Steve Voorhees

Steve Voorhees Passed away Friday, September 15, Steve had been in declining health for the past few years. Steve was the Lifeguard Section Chief in the Southern Section for a major part of his lifeguarding career. Steve was also a former LACOLA President and served on the team that negotiated the first LACOLA labor contract with the County. Steve was a pioneer surfer who challenged the Hawaii North Shore with the likes of Bing Copeland, Rick Stoner, Sonny Vardeman and Mike Bright.

Passing of Jim Westerman

Jim Westerman passed away in his sleep, Monday, August 14, 2017, at the age of 72. Jim was both a Los Angeles County Lifeguard, and a retired Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Specialist.  His last Fire assignment before retiring was as a Camp Crew Foreman at Camp 13 on Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu.

April 2016 to August 2017