In Memory

Marty Mechsner

Marty Mechsner

Marty Meschsner was a good friend to many at San Gabriel High School. He participated in so many activities, and was always willing to volunteer his time to help out a worthy cause. He seem to thrive on hard work, and he stayed active in his own company despite battling cancer. He passed away on Saturday, July 29, 2017. He leaves his beautiful wife Edna and children. His memorial service and reception will be held this Saturday, August 5, from noon to 5:00 at Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary, 6338 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601. It would be great if those of you who knew him could think of some memories of Marty and share them with us, his classmates, on our private sangabriel71 website. 💕

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

08/02/17 11:02 AM #1    

Denis Rottler

I first met Marty in the line for the first day of school for 7th (maybe 8th) grade at Jefferson Elementary in San Gabriel so 1965 or 1966.  I believe Jefferson Elementary is now a high school but in the day it was K-8th.  He was the new kid that day and somehow Tom Linehan and I started talking with him in the line.  It didn't take long to get to be buddies with Marty and I am pretty sure we even went to his house on Palm Ave after school that first day.  Our 8th grade school picture is on my profile page.  It isn't hard to pick him out of the lineup!

Marty was always doing cool stuff and was so generous with his toys and his time even back then.  He had a big picture plan well before any of us even thought about what was for dinner that day.  Growing up with Marty exposed me to things I would never have found on my own (some of which should probably not be mentioned) and he wasn't shy about trying something different.  He was so good at including us in his adventures and so was generous with whatever he had.  It was memorable, and one heck of a lot of fun, growing up with Marty, Tom, and Dale Haldeman back when all of the outdoors was our playground and we tried to cover as much ground as we could.

I moved to Texas in the early 70's but we were able to keep in touch for a few more years after that.  I moved back for one summer around 1977 as a poor college student without a summer job.  As an example of Marty's big heart, he "created" a job for me at the shop that summer and he even paid me!  I suspect with my stellar machining skills it cost the shop much more than I produced.  I received a lot more from that experience than just a paycheck.

My memory lane is filled with things like Marty trying out to be a drummer on the circular, gray, practice pad in the Jefferson auditorium; the jerk salesman at the drum store when he was buying his first drum kit; lots of weekend trips for soaring lessons; being his first passenger the day he passed his sailplane check ride; watching him be the first person I ever saw actually fall out of his seat at the movies while watching "It's a MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD World;  I still chuckle when the phrase "Birdie NUM NUM" pops to the top of the stack (; pushing around milk cartons in the refrigerator at Harry's Dairy (Alta-Dena Dairy) while in high school; being in the gold, fastback Barracuda when we got sideswiped on I-10 and did a couple of 360's without hitting anything else (it wiped out the passenger side and he thought by backing it into that long driveway on Palm Ave. his parents wouldn’t notice!); all of us singing Mitch Miller songs with Marty on the piano in the front room; driving all over creation in his cut up, orange, VW dune buggy (that plywood plank in the back was crummy back seat); helping him with his underwater range of motion experiment at UCLA; trying to get him kicked out of UCLA by hanging out in his dorm room late on Sunday evenings and crashing all those stellar frat parties.

You know how things go.  You don’t always appreciate what you have in the moment but with a bit of reflection and the passage of time, the picture becomes crystal clear.  Although it has been twenty plus years since I last saw Marty, the news of his passing struck me like it was just yesterday that we were in that line at Jefferson Elementary.  It was a great friendship and I promise I will smile each time another Marty Mechsner memory comes to mind.

It has been a tough stretch for the Mechsner family.  He is a good man and I feel certain he impacted many lives on his journey through life.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Mechsner family.  Peace be with you Marty.

08/02/17 11:56 AM #2    

Thomas Linehan

I'm Tom Linehan. Marty was a good friend of mine and Denis Rottler. The three of us lived close to each other and if there was such a thing as the three amigos, we were them. Growing up we attended Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, we walked to school everyday during this part of our lives and spent hundreds if not thousands of hours growing up together. I have fond memories of spending hot summer nights at the Mechsner home, watching old movies made in the 40's that a old man next door had. He would set up a large movie screen in the Mechsner yard that was huge, and with a old projector it was showtime. Denis and I, Marty's sister, his two brothers and our neighbors along with his mom and dad, had a wonderful evening. Marty was quite the musician and could play the organ, drums and I believe the guitar. This came naturally as I don't recall him taking lessons. We were in the cub scouts together, played little league baseball, basket ball and did what boys our age did. As we got older, Marty introduced us to Playboy Magazine. I don't know how he got them, but I think he had a subscription and he kept the magazines well hidden in his room. As we entered our teens, Marty bought a Plymouth Barracuda, I had a '58 Ford several motorcycles and Denis had a Chevrolet Vega . Marty and I and I'm not sure about Denis bought a jet ski boat, and trailer. It was purchased from a local car dealership and was in really bad shape. We rebuilt the boat, reupolstered  the seats, put new paint on it and with the help of Martys fathers machine shop made a new jet steering rudder. We made many trips to lakes and the Colorado River and we all learned to ski and had a great time.

There is so many other thngs we did together, and like most things in life they end. I sadly don't have enough space or memory to recall everything we did. We all grew up, went separate directions, started careers, got married, and each began a new journey in life. Denis Rottler and I have in the last few years reconnected and we have talked about Marty.  We tried to locate him but were not successful.

I am deeply saddened by his death, and wished the three of us could have stayed in touch. Having said that remember this, you only have a few true friends which you can count on one hand. Everyone else are just aquaintences. Rest in peace Marty, you were one of our true friends.

08/03/17 01:21 PM #3    

Paul Tsuji

I was saddened to hear about Marty's passing.  I to grew up with Marty, Denis and Tom. We were all practically neighbors. I wasn't as close to Marty as Denis and Tom.  I recall going to his house, but don't remember what we did, but it had be fun. In high school, Marty and I were in the school band. He played the drums and I the trumpet. He was very good playing the drums. I was so, so.  I remember going to a club in Hollywood with Marty and a few other band members.  We went to see the famous drummer Buddy Rich. We all watched and experienced a great musician perform his great talent.  We all had a great time that night. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Mechsner family.

God Bless


08/04/17 11:30 AM #4    

Lenard Posner

Marty, Paul, Denis, Tom, and I were classmates at Jefferson Elementary School (now Gabrileno High School) in San Gabriel.  Then, we went on to San Gabriel High School were Marty and I were in the marching band; I played trumpet and him on drums.  I remember one halftime show when the theme was Batman and Marty came zooming out on his motorcycle, drop it, ran to his drum set and rocked out with the band on the Batman Theme. The crowd roared. After high school, I bumped into Marty in the tunnel at the Coliseum in LA; it was a USC-UCLA football game.  He was in the UCLA Marching Band and I was in the USC Marching Band.  We chatted among the noise before going out to play the pre-game show.  I think that was the last time I saw him. 

I remember Marty as a positive, fun-loving, jovial, hard-working guy.  It seemed that everyone knew him.  He was just a nice human being.  RIP my friend. 

08/05/17 07:44 AM #5    

Jason Kirkman

Marty was the drummer in the first rock band I was ever in.  Rick Nagby played guitar and Robert Democh sang lead.  We rehearsed at Marty's house, and I played their big Thomas console organ.  I remember playing "Nobody" by Three Dog Night and "So-Lo" by Iron Butterfly.  I don't remember a bass player, and I don't think that band ever had a name.  We never played any gigs and the band was short-lived, but it did acquaint me with Marty's musicianship.  He was really a good drummer.  I expect a lot of us remember the drummers from the school band marching around campus playing military cadences on game days.  Marty used to love that, you could tell by watching him.  

We were on the swim team together.  We both swam backstroke, so we swam in the same events, and developed a good-natured competition with each other.  We gave one another plenty of grief the way adolescent boys will do, but it was all in jest.  Marty had a sly sense of humor, sort of like Dick Martin on Laugh-In.  You could say he was a bit of a card.  I took a few rides in the Barracuda and on the back of his motorcycle, but I never did get to see that Playboy collection.

I only managed to attend the last 45 minutes of our 40th reunion, but I did get to talk to Marty and to Debbie Peel.  I'm thankful for that.  It's hard to believe they're gone.   

go to top 
  Post Comment