Maurice Z. "Maury" Wishon Former Deputy Chief of Police in Long Beach Maurice Zinn Wishon has passed away at the age of 97. He died December 17 of complications of pneumonia and prostate cancer at the Huntington Retirement Hotel in Torrance. "Maury" was born March 30, 1912 to Gladys Zinn Wishon and Thomas Arvid Wishon on a farm outside Quincy, Illinois. In 1924 the family, now consisting of two boys, with the birth of brother Harold, moved to Long Beach, California, where Thomas hoped to cash in on the bustling new oil industry in Signal Hill. Instead, Thomas was recruited onto the Long Beach Police Department, where he served until 1943. Maurice attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, graduating in 1930. He played drums in several Poly High bands, and after graduation continued his musical career, culminating with his own band that played regularly in Long Beach and Avalon. The band was a regular attraction in 1938 and 1939 at the Avalon Pavilion. In 1939 Maurice met Betty Brown of Long Beach, and by 1940 he had renounced his flamboyant bandleader lifestyle for a more permanent job alongside his father at the Long Beach Police Department, advancing to Detective by 1941. In January of that year he wed Betty and moved to a little house on Easy St. in Long Beach. With the advent of WWII, Maurice entered the US Army, first in the Signal Corps, then the Corps of Engineers, where he attended Officer Candidate School, and quickly rose to the rank of Captain. He saw service in France and Germany in 1944 and 1945, earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for bravery, and returned to Betty and Long Beach in early 1946. Back in the LBPD, he advanced to Detective Inspector, and eventually to Captain. He was active in Police League Baseball and other police outreach programs, and was promoted in 1966 to Deputy Chief of Police, in the Patrol Division. He is credited with many innovations in the management of police patrol officers. He retired from the LBPD after a 37 year career in 1977. Maury and Betty retired to the Tehachapi area where they enjoyed frequent golf and a rural lifestyle, then moved to a less demanding property, again on a golf course, at Cherry Valley, California in 1991. As always Maury took on administrative positions where ever he went, serving on, and usually chairing, boards and committees at every stage of his life. He and Betty moved back to their beloved Long Beach in 2004, residing at The Breakers, and then at the Bixby Knolls Towers. In 2008 they moved to a care home in Torrance. On October 22 of this year, he suffered a fall and broke his hip. He came through the surgery well, but suffered several complications in the ensuing weeks. As always, he fought heroically but eventually lost his battle and passed quietly on December 17. Maurice is survived by Betty, his devoted wife of 69 years, his two sons, Glenn and Gary, nephew Thomas Crail, niece Marti Steele, grandchildren Stephanie, Jordan, Mark, and Gregory Wishon. He will be remembered for his wisdom, wit, heroism, loving, fairness, caring, leadership, musicianship, and his gentle, guiding hand. Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday, December 28, 2009 at the Grace United Methodist Church , 2325 E. 3rd Street in Long Beach, CA. A graveside service will follow at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster, CA.

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  1. I did not know Mr. Wishon, but have known Gary for many years. Mr. Wishon sounds like he was a wonderful person and lived a full life filled with friends and family. I just wanted to drop this note to Gary and all of the rest of the family wishing them all my best during this time. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas Eve at church.

  2. You are in my thoughts and prayers. The Wishon families of Yadkin County, NC were delighted when Maury and Betty came to our reunion in 1983. He made lots of pictures, visited with several of us after the reunion. We felt we had known a lot in common. He was very gracious.

  3. I salute the family and friends in celebrating the going home event of Maurice Z. Wishon. I worked under him when he was a Lieut., Capt. and Dep. Chief. He was a creative leader and inspired me to contribute to the police profession. When I was an on-duty rookie lieut. in 1974, he called me at 0300 hours one morning to prepare for the visit of Pres. Ford, who would be visiting Pres. Nixon at Memorial Hospital and that I would be in charge of uniformed police operations in working with secret service personnel assigned to protect both presidents. He always seemed to believe in me in getting a job done right. He was a natty dresser and I once told him that he reminded me of Adm. Zumwalt of the Navy and Johnny Carson. He smiled, winked at me and said, “Charlie, you always seem to find the right words to say.”

  4. In care of Gary Wishon, Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Sending you our love. Aunty Pat Nestell and family

  5. My sincere sympathy to all the family on the loss of a beloved family member. Dr. Glen Wishon I worked for you at So. Bay Family Medical back in the 1980’s…Please realize your Dad is with the Lord and out of his suffering….God Bless you and your family..Much Love to all, Janet Burkitt

  6. Dear Betty, I enjoyed all the years that I worked with Chief Wishon. We’ll always remember the night that we had dinner with you and how we all played bean-bags with The Woods. We enjoyed that night so much. I’m glad that Pat Parish and I had a nice visit with him. Our condolences to you and the family. Sincerely, Captain Forrest H. Smith and Jeanne.

  7. Dearest Betty, I don’t know if you remember me, I lived at 2339 Easy, a few doors down from you. You were also one of my teachers at Extended daycare in the early ’50s if you don’t remember me it is certainly ok. I surely remember you and your husband, my sister Karen sent me the notice from the Press Telegram and I felt a great desire to send you my condolances. God Bless and keep you. Floyd (sonny)

  8. I was fortunate enough to work for Chief Wishon from 1972-1976 as his administrative secretary. He was such a good and descent man, who loved the department and the men and women in it. He was an innovator and always seeking new ways to make things more effective. I remember the laughs we had with Dick Johansen, plans for the STAR team, and our mutual “unfondness” for Chief Bob Hill. I will always remember Chief Wishon asking me what I would like him to bring me back from Spain – I said a bull fight poster. And he did, along with a spanish leather book marker. I still have the book marker and my son now has the poster. I have thought of him often over these years.

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