August 2007

SCMA President Byron Bronson Succumbs To Cancer

Southern California Marine Association President Byron Bronson, 69, of Santa Ana, Calif. passed away July 9 at Western Medical Center in Anaheim due to cancer- related complications. 

Mr. Bronson, a long-time cornerstone of the Southern California boating industry, will be missed by family, friends, and business colleagues.  "Byron was a unique and special person," commented SCMA Executive Director Dave Geoffroy.  "He was my boss, but also a very close personal friend. 

“Byron personified strength in judgment and character regardless of the situation.  His work on behalf of SCMA was exemplary. His contributions and leadership will be greatly missed."

Mr. Bronson was a product of his Southern California upbringing.  He was a graduate of Huntington Park High School where he excelled in athletics, especially football. 

That led him to a gridiron career at the University of Texas, eventually entering the National Football League where he played for the Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers at the first Super Bowl Championship in 1967 as a defensive lineman.

Following his pro-football career, Mr. Bronson turned to coaching at the high-school level, producing several football championships at Foothill and Tustin High Schools.  He also pursued his life-long passion for classic hot rods and performance boating. 

In the 1970s, Mr. Bronson and his son Joel became frequent participants at local APBA boat-racing events.  He also discovered that he had a talent for public speaking, and he soon found himself behind the microphone at numerous boat races calling the action — much to the delight of enthusiastic fans around the country.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Bronson and Joel entered the marine industry, opening Bronson-Hill Propellers in Santa Ana, a successful boat-propeller repair and servicing company which continues in operation today. 

Over the past decade, Mr. Bronson served several terms of office on the SCMA Board of Directors and was elected its president on three separate occasions.  In Dec. 2006, he was presented with SCMA's highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary service and contributions to the Southern California recreational boating industry. 

Mr. Bronson is survived by his son Joel, daughter Kelly, and four grandchildren.  Remembrance donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or a trust account for the grandchildren of Byron Bronson. 

Donations to the trust account may be sent to the SCMA office at 1006 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA  92866.