September 12, 1946 ~ January 31, 2009
Walter Joseph Elzen
September 12, 1946 - January 31, 2009
Walter Joseph Elzen, a 38 year resident of the South Bay, passed away on Saturday, January 31, 2009 in Torrance. Born in Mobile, Alabama, Walt was 62 when he died. Walt had served in the Navy during Vietnam and was a member of Bellview Church of Christ. During his career he was in construction for 20 years specializing in gunite/concrete work. The next 20 year phase of his career was in the entertainment industry working for Fred Saunders Production Services building stages, driving a forklift and was a spotlight operator. During that time, he was involved in many rehearsals and concerts for groups such as Pink Floyd, Madonna, Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Eagles, Motley Crue and U-2 just to name a few. Walt was well loved among the celebrities, Madonna used to request him personally for her rehearsals.
Among his friends, Walt was also known as W.W. This stood for "Winnebago Walt" and "Wonderful Walt". The "Winnebago" came to be from W.W.'s ability to pack more stuff on his Harley Davidson than anyone else could. The "Wonderful" speaks for itself and needs no explanation . . . he was truly a wonderful friend to all who knew him. His hobbies were riding his Harley, bass fishing, drag boat racing (was a member of the Liquid Lust racing team) and he loved to shoot pool! He was captain of his team and played in a league for the Anza Inn. He was also a huge fan of the Miami Dolphins and beautiful blondes.
Walt is survived by his sister Phyllis Elzen Brantley and brother-in-law Paul Brantley. He has 3 nieces, Tia Brantley McLeod and husband Eddie, Tanya Brantley Wilcox and husband Preston of Pensacola, and Tallish Brantley of Fresno. He also has 5 great-nieces, 5 great nephews and 1 great, great nephew. Walt also had many friends that were like family to him. He lived most of his life with Fred Saunders and Steve Sharp of Torrance, and there just aren't enough pages in this newspaper to name all the many friends who loved him and will miss him.
The memorial service will be held at Rice Mortuary Chapel on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 2:00 P.M. A reception will be held in Rice's Lighthouse Reception Room from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Inurnment will be private.
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