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Timothy W. Washburn

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Timothy  W.  Washburn Obituary
Timothy W. Washburn
December 13, 1946 – July 6, 2010

Tim Washburn of Manhattan Beach passed away on July 6, 2010, following a sudden hospitalization for a chronic illness. He was 63. In 1997 Tim was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin, a genetic, progressive lung disease. For the remainder of his life, he chose to hide his increasingly compromised condition as best he could. His incredible success in this subterfuge served as his final goal in life, but it created a heart-wrenching shock to most of his friends. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 43 years, Linda, his older brother, Dennis Washburn (Carol), and a multitude of friends and acquaintances.
Faced with a predictably shortened life, Tim retired when he was 55 from Wells Fargo Bank, where he was an Executive Vice President responsible for construction loan activities for Southern California. Although he and Linda had already managed to travel extensively during his vacation time, Tim wanted to live his remaining life as fully as possible. He didn't waste a day; he taught others how one could be successful in a career, travel the world, and have first class fun in amazing places with first class people. Over the years, Tim concealed his deteriorating condition from all but Linda and a few close friends who saw him frequently enough to detect the signs. He carefully designed travel and daily life to maximize experiences and to minimize the effect of his illness. When friends took up golf, Tim declined, calling it a "silly game." Few knew the real reason. Tim never did allow Alpha-1 to dominate his life; he evaded its shadow by making the most of every good moment. He loved planning and taking trips throughout the world, albeit all at low altitude - replacing hikes and long walks with taxis and pedicabs. At the seaside home he was so pleased to have built and live in, Tim appreciated every day simply by absorbing the beauty of a sunset.
Tim served for five years as an officer in the US Navy, initially assigned to a ship in Norfolk, VA and Gaeta, Italy. Always a methodical planner, he recognized early on that command of the English language would be critical to his success. He took vocabulary cards to the bridge and memorized them while standing "bridge watch" (hopefully not during maneuvers). Most of his off-duty time was consumed by partying to the degree only the young can survive. Lifelong friendships were formed with fellow officers, and Tim and Linda continued taking group trips together with them over the years. He carefully orchestrated their participation to cover his Alpha-1; always available for the Caribbean and other sea-level vacations, but "conflicting events" excused their attendance at higher altitudes.
Tim played baseball from Little League through high school in Alhambra, American Legion (MVP!), and his first year in college. He never lost interest in the game nor gave up on his beloved SF Giants. He had great fun travelling with his best friend Rick - to Yankee Stadium for the last game at the old park with the Red Sox, or to Chicago to take in a game at Wrigley Field. Travels to exotic lands with Linda, occasionally joined by dear friends, was his joy. Before his illness, he and Linda were avid scuba divers, and he concocted many trips to take advantage of tropical oceans. Tim loved the sun. When the cold and fog rolled in at the beach, Tim headed for Palm Desert, where he and Linda spent many fall and spring weekends with their "pool 3" friends. He claimed a unique ability to manipulate the weather to make the sun come out, especially for Cal football games, though some may have considered it luck.
Tim holds an MBA in Finance from USC, and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley. He loved his work in banking and the people with whom he worked. His career was highlighted by his ability, professionalism and unparalleled integrity, as was his life. Over the years, Tim was affiliated with many organizations, some being the Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers, the Editorial Board – California Real Estate Journal, and Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. He also served as Board Member at various times for the Natural History Museum of LA County and the Los Angeles Urban League, as well as having membership on the Advisory Board, Center for Finance and Real Estate, UCLA Graduate School of Business and the L.A. Founders Chapter of Robert Morris Associates.
Most of all, Tim was fun to be with. He liked people, and as a result, people liked him. Because of his appreciation for each day, Tim was able to see excitement in things others viewed as routine. He caused a lot of mischief. Tim enjoyed life immensely, and even by his own high standards, he lived a great one. He did things that were fun and made him happy, and in so doing, made those around him happy. He will be sorely missed.
Tim never spoke of death except for one aspect. He rejected any concept of a memorial service as "too weepy." As he requested, sometime in the future when much of the immediate sadness has been replaced by enduring smiles of remembrance, there will be a big party. Much eating and drinking will take place, and stories will be told of Tim and each other. So be it. Friends and acquaintances will be notified.
Any memorial gifts should be made to The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, or The Peter Zippi Memorial Fund for Animals in Hermosa Beach.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 16 to July 18, 2010
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