by Laura Czingula
Editor in Chief
E. Elwell Averbeck died on April 7, 1998, following a period of failing health. The 92-year-old man was the founder and chairman of Averbeck Company Insurance Brokers, Inc. and a major supporter of the University of La Verne.
Averbeck established The E. Elwell Averbeck Endowment, which provides scholarships and internships for students interested in a career in insurance.
Averbeck was also a major supporter of the Cal Poly Pomona Restaurant Center and gave the land to establish the park at the corner of Loma Vista and Val Vista in Pomona.
Once, after two weeks of bad rainy weather, in the city of Pomona in 1983, there was a loss of over 2,000 trees. Averbeck created a matching fund program which provided replacement trees.
Averbeck was born in Madison, Wisc. on March 21, 1906. However, he eventually moved to Claremont in 1908 and then to the city of Pomona in 1913. Averbeck graduated from Pomona High School and continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1928.
He spent his last two years living at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont.
Averbeck’s hobbies and what he loved most were traveling, fine food and wine. He was also interested in cooking schools, such as, La Varanne in Paris, which he attended six different times, the cooking school of Madame Wu in Los Angeles, and all the sessions of the Monterey Wine Festival, where it is said that he once met the late, Julia Child.
Averbeck took four around-the-world trips and traveled 47 times on different foreign trips.
Averbeck was best known for his business acumen and philanthropic interests. During his career he served on numerous business and community boards, in addition to that of his own company, including the Pomona Chamber of Commerce, Fernstrom Paper Mill, Southern Service Company, Sentry Life Insurance Company and Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens.
Averbeck was married in 1935 for 29 years to his wife Julia, who died in 1964. His daughter Marcia, died in 1983. He is survived by two grandchildren, Julia and Steven.
A memorial service was held yesterday at Todd Memorial Chapel in Claremont. A reception at the Claremont Colleges Faculty House followed.