Noted Claremont architect, WWII pilot
Former Claremont resident and noted architect Everett Tozier died peacefully at his home in Port Angeles, Washington after suffering a stroke. He was 94.
A native of southern California, Mr. Tozier initially attended UC Berkeley. During World War II, he trained as a B-25 bomber pilot, flying in 74 missions over France, Italy and Sicily and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. Following the war, he pursued his architecture degree from the University of Southern California.
Mr. Tozier’s legacy in the Claremont and Pomona areas includes fire stations, private residences, college buildings, banks, stables and churches. His career included serving as chair of the Planning Commission in Pomona and, in 1969, he and the late William Abbott formed Tozier and Abbott Architects in Claremont.
Tozier and Abbott Architects went on to design a number of projects including the Albert Thille Botany Building at Pomona College, joint science facilities for The Claremont Colleges and the First Baptist Church of Pomona, among others.
Claremont architect Mark von Wodtke worked with Tozier and Abbott in the early 1970s.
“I really admired him. He was a talented architect,” Mr. von Wodtke recalled. “As an employer, I appreciated him because he had real expertise and I learned a lot from him. I really enjoyed getting to know Everett. He was a wonderful man.”
During the 1970s, Mr. Tozier and his firm worked to develop a plan for Yale Avenue, which at the time was a typical small-town commercial strip. The addition of Tozier and Abbott structures like the Bank of California in 1970 [now California Bank & Trust] and Yale Avenue’s first outdoor café at the Danson was the stimulus for transforming the Village, Mr. von Wodtke noted.
“Outdoor cafés are now a very big part of the Village,” he said. “Everett was instrumental in making that happen in the early days.”
Mr. Tozier is also known for his design of the free-standing stair structure on the north side of the Harvard Square building. The stairwell was an addition to the original Village Theater, designed and built in 1939 by Sumner Spaulding, a prominent Los Angeles architect.
During this time, Mr. Tozier was also involved with an art gallery in Claremont, Gallery 8, which was located on Bonita and Harvard Avenues.
Mr. Tozier retired to Port Angeles in 1992. He was also a passionate and skilled golfer, his family shared.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean; a son, Bill, and his wife Sarah of Port Angeles; and a daughter, Ann, and her husband Joe Blommer of June Lake, California. He also leaves behind his sister Vivian of Eureka, California and four adoring grandchildren.