Don Kott, 78, who established a chain of auto dealerships, including his flagship operation in Carson next to the 405 Freeway, died Dec. 21 at his Long Beach home after battling cancer, his family announced.
Kott was born March 21, 1931, in Los Angeles to Karl and Dora Kott. His father owned a Ford dealership in Wilmington, where Don started working in 1953, after graduating from USC.
He took over the business in 1971, moved the main office to Carson in 1974 and over the years sold Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep, Mazda, Kia, Isuzu and Hino vehicles.
The sprawling lot in Carson was dominated by a giant electronic sign that displayed inspirational messages as well as sales pitches aimed at drivers on the 405.
Kott sold the business to Sonic Automotive in 2002, and the dealerships closed in 2008.
Through the years, Kott volunteered with local charities, including the Wilmington YMCA and Boys Club and the Boys & Girls Club of Carson.
Parke Meek, a designer, furniture maker and antiques collector who worked with modernists Charles and Ray Eames and later owned Jadis, a well-known movie prop house on Main Street in Santa Monica, died from complications of old age Monday at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, his partner Susan Lieberman said. He was 86.
J.C. Gipson, who played more than 20 years for the Harlem Globetrotters and got his start at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where he was named basketball player of the year in 1951, died Dec. 30 of a heart attack in San Bernardino, a family spokeswoman said. He was 77.