Notable passings of 2010

The following notable people from the Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley community passed away this year.

Juergen W. Bless

Bishop Juergen W. Bless did the first blessing at St. Thaddeus Jude Old Catholic Church in Old World Village and served there for more than 30 years. He died April 5 at 68.

The German native was brought to religion through war, ending up in a Franciscan Monastery in Munich during World War II, where he first felt the calling of the church.

From that day, he studied to become a pastor in 1969 and was ordained a bishop in the late 1980s. He oversaw three congregations, led Lutheran and Old Catholic services and ordained church members.

Andy Irons

Andy Irons wasn't a Huntington Beach resident, but judging from the tributes in the surfing community after his death Nov. 2, it felt as though he was.

The world-famous surfer, who often competed in Huntington, died at 32 in Dallas during a flight stopover. The cause of his death has not been determined, according to news reports.

In the wake of his death, hundreds of people joined for a paddle-out in his memory by the Huntington Beach Pier, while flowers and memorial tributes lined the intersection of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

Kelly Moran

Kelly Moran was a two-time U.S. motorcycle racing national champion who took the title in 1983 and 1984. He died April 4 of complications from emphysema at 49.

The Huntington Beach native was nicknamed "Jelly Man" and "The Wizard of Balance" for his riding technique of hanging off his motorcycle while cornering.

He also finished fourth at the world championships in 1970 and 1982.

Eric 'Octopus' Norris

Eric "Octopus" Norris, a mixed martial artist and Fountain Valley fitness trainer, died in a boating accident July 3 in Lake Havasu, Ariz., at 30.

Norris, who worked at Anytime Fitness, had fallen off an inner tube and was waiting to be picked up when another boat struck him in an apparent hit-and-run. In his memory, friends and family members hosted a garage sale to raise money for martial arts programs for underprivileged children.

Norris, who left a 7-year-old son, earned the nickname "Octopus" because of his ability to trap opponents with his limbs.

Jim Purcey

Jim Purcey, an author and activist, died in a parking garage fire at his Huntington Beach apartment complex May 31. He was 59.

Purcey self-published the 2007 book "Am I the Only American Who Thinks This Way?" and offered a kit called the Freedom Package, which contained documents explaining how to circumvent the government, on his website. Jack Blood, the host of the online program "Deadline Live" on American Freedom Radio, called Purcey a visionary.

"He was writing about things that would be considered 'Tea Party'-esque, maybe even more subversive than that," he said.

Martin Senat

Martin Senat, a native Briton, co-founded and served as president of the nonprofit that maintained the Huntington Dog Beach for more than a decade. He died July 25 at 81.

Senat helped create the Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach in the late 1990s when the city was considering closing the beach near Pacific Coast Highway and Goldenwest Street. The society, which cleaned and maintained the beach, played a part in Dog Fancy magazine naming the city DogTown USA in 2009.

Known as a fighting dog himself, Senat sometimes took on City Hall during his time with the nonprofit. After his death, though, a friend remembered him as "a perfect English gentleman."

Kyle R. Warren

Kyle R. Warren, a medic with the elite Special Forces, was in his second deployment when he was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb outside of Tsagay in the southern Helmand province. He was 28.

The Marina High School graduate enlisted in the Army with his friends in 2004 and served his first tour in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to the Los Angeles Times. He wanted to become a firefighter-paramedic or physician's assistant when he left the Army.

Warren worked as a medic to other soldiers, but also provided healthcare in a weekly town clinic to the sick and elderly.

Harriett M. Wieder

Harriett M. Wieder, a devoted environmentalist, was a Bolsa Chica Conservancy founder and the first female Orange County supervisor. She died Jan. 11 at 89.

Wieder was elected to the Huntington Beach City Council in 1974 and became mayor two years later. After one term on the council, she went on to the Board of Supervisors, where she stayed until 1995.

She is the namesake of the Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park that opened in 1992 and served on the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Commission on U.S.-Pacific Trade & Investment Policy and the National Advisory Environmental Health and Sciences Council.

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