ORBACH, Harry K.
ORBACH, Harry Kenneth (1925-1966) [SS#570-22-2991] was born in Colorado on December 11, 1925, the son of Alexander and Matilda Orbach. Orbach received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at UCLA in 1952. He was an inventor and held several patents for methods he developed for making and distributing snow for sports use.
Orbach was killed during the storm of January 16, 1966 that hit Avalon Harbor. Orbach, his wife and son were aboard their boat in Avalon Harbor when Orbach was swept overboard. His body was found in the harbor several weeks later. His wife and son were rescued.
In the News~
January 17, 1966 [San Bernardino Sun]: “20-Foot Waves Destroy 12 Boats at Avalon. Actress Among Rescued; One Yachtsman Lost. Avalon, Santa Catalina Island —Sixty-five-mile-an-hour winds and 20-foot waves described as "like the North Atlantic" sank 12 pleasure boats and destroyed 1000 feet of concrete sea wall at this famed resort early yesterday. Actress June Lockhart, unhurt, was among the rescued. One yachtsman was missing and presumed drowned. Five other persons, some injured, were rescued from foundering 25- to 50-foot sailboats and power cruisers. Said one of them, Los Angeles County Superior Judge Edward R. Brand, who was unhurt—and can't swim: "I've never seen a sea like that except on television." Sheriff's deputies estimated damage to boats at $250,000... But the gale, at its worst from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., concentrated its fury on this recreation spot developed by the late chewing gum king William Wrigley Jr. and famed for its flying fish, glass-bottomed-bot rides and song "Avalon." Judge Brand had sailed Friday with two Los Angeles friends, real estate investor Edward Sontag, and finance company president Charles Offer, 52, for a weekend cruise to the island aboard Offer's 40-foot motor sailer Kanaka Bug... Missing and presumed drowned, deputies said, was Harry K. Orbach, 41, Newport Beach. His wife, Betty Jane, 41, and son Michael, 18, were rescued after waves capsized the family boat Mrs. Orbach was hospitalized with shock and a broken hip. Michael was treated for lacerations and bruises. A boat called The Gossip, owned by W. Dwight Clark, 700 E. El Molino St., Pasadena, broke up when heavy winds snapped its mooring lines and drove it aground... ”
January 30, 1966 [San Bernardino Sun]: “Catalina Winds' Victim Found. Avalon—The body of a man swept overboard when heavy winds hit Santa Catalina Island Jan. 16 has been found in Avalon Harbor. Sheriff;s deputies said the body of Harry Kenneth Orbach, 41, of Newport Beach, was recovered Friday.