Fatal car crash victim was potential Long Beach mayoral candidate

A 65-year-old man killed in a Terminal Island car crash over the weekend was a potential Long Beach mayoral candidate and member of the local Occupy movement.

Eugene B. Gendel was killed last Saturday when his vehicle rear-ended a big rig not far from the eastern end of the Vincent Thomas Bridge at Terminal Island, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, Sharon Cotrell, a member of Occupy Long Beach, posted a notice on the group’s Facebook page about the death of Gendel, whom they knew as “Sonny Pencr.”

The statement included a link to an obituary published in the Press-Telegram and a statement from Woodbury University in Burbank, where he taught economics.

According to the university statement, Gendel had been part of the university’s faculty since 1994. He became a full professor in 1999.  

Gendel earned his doctorate at Boston University and taught at several universities and colleges in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before arriving at Woodbury University.

Gendel had also served as curator and manager of the Mark Taper Hall of Economics and Finance at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.

“Long active in environmental causes, he recently announced his candidacy for the mayor of Long Beach…as the nominee for the Green Party,” the statement read.  

Gendel submitted his intent-to-run form Dec. 16 but had not submitted his nomination packet that would have secured his spot as a candidate for the position, according to city officials.

A memorial service for Gendel was scheduled Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles.  


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