RENTON, Malcolm

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RENTON, Malcolm Joseph (1908-1997) followed in his father’s footsteps, helping to develop Santa Catalina Island as a fabled resort. Born in Pasadena, Renton came to the island at the age of eleven. He began his career with the Santa Catalina Island Company in 1929 upon graduation from Stanford University. He served in World War II, attaining rank of Captain. From 1941 until his retirement in 1975, Renton served the company as its Vice President and General Manager, augmenting those duties for 27 years as Corporate Secretary; president and director of the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy; vice president of the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation; president of the Catalina Island Museum Society; and director of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce. Renton’s talents in design and architecture contributed to multiple island projects, including much of Rancho Escondido and the Terminal Building at the original Hamilton Beach Amphibian Airport. He redesigned the Chimes Tower, adding the addition of the terraced walls surrounding the structure; he redesigned the sanctuary of the Community Church.

Malcom Renton retired after 42 years of service. He served on the board of the Santa Catalina Island Company for 18 years. He died at on the mainland at age 89. Renton was married three times: his wife of 33 years, Virginia Hill, died in 1979; his second wife, Janet Reitz, whom he married in 1981, died in 1990. He was survived by his third wife, Carolyn Bowstrom, whom he married in 1992. He was also survived by his son, David (b. 1946), from his first wife, Virginia.

In the News~

[[1]]: “Malcolm Joseph Renton, '29 [Stanford University class], of Avalon, Calif., August 1, at 89. He was the former manager of the Santa Catalina Island Co. and helped develop the island resort 26 miles off the coast of Southern California. During his 42 years with the company, he served as assistant to island proprietor and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, and later as corporate secretary and director. He was also president and director of the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy and vice president of the Wrigley Memorial Garden. He retired in 1975. While at Stanford, he was a member of Los Arcos. Survivors: his third wife, Carolyn Bostrom; a son; and four grandchildren.”