Longtime DeBell Golf Club professional dies

Phillip Scozzola Jr., a longtime golf professional who oversaw DeBell Golf Club, passed away on Aug. 17 due to complications from Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 78.

For 31 years, Phillip Scozzola served as the golf professional for the club, a role he took on in 1970 after beginning his career as a golf professional at Casey Stengel's Driving Range and Vista Valencia Golf Course.

Phillip Scozzola was born in 1936 in Chicago to Phillip and Angeline Scozzola. After his mother's death, he moved to Burbank and joined the U.S. Army in 1959.

It was during his military career that he grew to love golf, and he pursued it as a career after his discharge in 1961, according to his family.


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the day of the funeral. In fact, it will be Saturday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church. A reception will follow at DeBell Golf Course afterward. 


In 1969, he married his wife, Marlene. The following year, he became just the third golf professional to oversee DeBell, said City Councilman Gary Bric, who worked for Phillip Scozzola while he was a student at Burbank High in the late 1960s.

In 2001, Phillip Scozzola retired from DeBell, and passed the torch at the golf course to his son, Scott, whom he taught how to play.

"He touched a lot of people throughout Burbank and got to know a lot of people and made his mark on DeBell," Scott Scozzola said. "His legacy in the city was all the relationships he created."

About a year and a half ago, he had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to the ALS Foundation at ALSA.org or that Ice Bucket Challenges be done in his honor.

Besides his wife and son, other survivors include his brothers, Paul Scozzola and Charlie Rizzo, his daughter, Pilar Hemry, and two grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 3801 Scott Road. A celebration of his life with family and friends will follow the service at DeBell Golf Club. The family will hold a private burial service.

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