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Walter B. Losk

1916 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Walter B. Losk Obituary
May 3, 1916 - July 25, 2017 Walter B. Losk, a true American success story, died at home in L.A, this week at age 101. Losk founded a key petroleum industry equipment company that employed thousands, played endless rounds of high-level amateur golf, and most importantly, was a loving husband to his wife Annie for an astounding 80 years. Born In Fargo, ND as the youngest of nine children of Russian Jewish immigrants, Losk came to LA as a toddler and attended and graduated from Fairfax and Los Angeles high schools. Upon marriage to the former Annie Cowin in 1936, he started as a janitor at Axelson Engineering, a maker of aircraft landing gear and oil well parts. After ten years of promotions to plant manager and head of sales, he bought a truck and founded Monarch Engineering in 1946. At Monarch, Losk repeatedly made the long pre-freeway drive to the oilfields of Taft and Bakersfield to pitch a radical idea: Instead of buying all-new sub-surface oil-well pumps, Losk would truck the drillers' worn-out pumps back to L.A. for re-chrome-plating, then return them at half the cost of new pumps. Losk was turned down, again and again. The couple had to live on Annie's accounting clerk wages. Finally, Standard Oil gave Losk a small test order. Within months, he was refurbishing all its pumps. In a hard-to-enter industry, he had re-written the rules. Monarch quickly grew into manufacturing at its Gardena location. In the early 60s, a merger made it Trico Industries, which was listed on the NYSE in 1967. With Losk as CEO, Trico soon made virtually all the parts necessary for oil drilling and storage and supplied producers throughout the "oil patch" states of Texas and Oklahoma and around the world. Losk's other passion was golf. A long-time member of the Riviera CC and the Tamarisk CC in Palm Springs, he was a long-ball hitter and superb putter who won two Team Pro-Am titles at the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He counted many entertainers and industry captains among his friends. Energetic and funny, a flashy dresser with a prodigious shoe collection, Losk is survived by his wife Annie and many loving nieces and nephews. Services to be held at Hillside Memorial on Sunday, July 30 at 1 PM. Address: 6001 W. Centinela Ave., L.A. 90045
Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 28, 2017
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