March 30, 1912 ~ December 17, 2009
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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