Longtime Malibu resident Henry “Hank” Kaminski died on Feb.18 at his daughter’s home in Mt. Shasta. He was 95 years old.
Born and raised in McKeesport, Pa., Kaminski served as a captain in the Navy in World War II, where he was stationed in the Philippines. He spent his entire career as an insurance agent with Allstate Insurance Company, where he worked for over 40 years.
Kaminski was one of Malibu’s leaders in the 1960s era. He lobbied for Malibu’s cityhood continuously from the late 1950s through the 1970s. He also passionately advocated for Pepperdine University’s move to Malibu in the early 1970s. He was a longtime member and past President of the Malibu Optimist Club, a vice president and director of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Malibu Men’s Club and Malibu Toastmasters.
Kaminski was one of Southern California’s early surfers, starting in the late 1940s. Occasionally, he and his friends flew to La Paz to go fishing for dorado (mahi-mahi or dolphin fish) off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.
“When he wasn’t at Surfrider or Huntington Beaches, San Onofre or the Rincon in the 1950s and 1960s, he could be found in his garage, either building, sanding or waxing his own 10-foot long surfboards,” a loved one said.
Kaminski also spent time taking his children skiing, fishing, camping and to ballgames. He designed and built his own Japanese-style house behind Serra Retreat, which was one of the few in that area to survive the great Malibu fire of 1970.
“He was a past member of Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church and had a deep love and devotion to our Lord and the Holy Scriptures,” a loved one added.
Henry is survived by his children, Jann Kaminski of Santa Barbara, Bruce Kaminski of Elk Grove and Leslea LaGro of Mt. Shasta; grandchildren, Inez Kaminski, Sophia Kaminski, Mark Kaminski, John Kaminski, Kristina Kaminski, Ronald LaGro, Amy LaGro, Lauren Baker-Gleason and Claire LaGro; great-grandchild, David LaGro.
A celebration service took place with close family.