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Chief Steve "Cush" William Cushman
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November 8, 1951 - July 20, 2017

The Family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Chief Steve Cushman Memorial Fund. Donate Now.

Chief Steve "Cush" William Cushman

Seal Beach Marine Safety Department mourns the loss of retired Lifeguard Chief Steve Cushman. Steve began his career with City of Seal Beach at age 17, as a Seasonal Lifeguard in 1969. He became a full time Marine Yearly Lifeguard in 1971 and retired as the Lifeguard Chief in January of 2004. Known as “Cush” to his friends, Steve grew up in Seal Beach spending much of his time surfing, boating, fishing and water skiing. Using his knowledge and passion for the ocean, Cush became an icon within the Lifeguard community and is responsible for saving countless lives during his 34-year career. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side on July 20, 2017.

Chief Cushman’s most memorable rescue had him jumping from a helicopter rescuing two victims who were caught in massive storm surf – but that’s just one of many remarkable stories of Cush. He was an excellent mechanic and wood worker, skills he used for the betterment of the Lifeguard Department. Everyone that has worked with Cush has had a “make it work” moment, as he always had an idea on how to fix something or make it better. His innovations include the tower phones system, the public address system, and the lifeguard tower design, all of which are still in use today.

Cush was promoted to Lifeguard Captain in 1993 and then received the well-deserved title change to Chief in 1999. Some additional career accomplishments include City of Seal Beach Employee of the Year (1990) and California Boating Safety Officers Association Southern Director (2002-2004).

He was a "fix-it" Husband who finished all types of projects around the family's Los Alamitos home, from plumbing to electrical, digital or carpentry. He adored his daughters and was the most loving Dad, always sharing his wisdom, adventure, and humor. He never missed a big school event or the chance to call you out for being klutzy - just for a laugh and a reminder to not take yourself too seriously. The family shares unforgettable memories of Disneyland Ditch Days, Catalina getaways, Big Bear excursions, Father Daughter dances, 5am fishing trips, great pool party Birthdays, Easter Bunny surprises, beach rides down to River's End Cafe, and so much more.

Over the years, Chief Cushman worked with hundreds of young men and women in the Lifeguard department, many of whom would describe him as a larger than life character. He was an example, a mentor, a boss, and most of all a friend. Cush was the type of friend that would do anything for you. The only things more important to Cush than the Lifeguard Department and profession were his two daughters, Shaena and Rachel. He will be greatly missed by all.

A Lifeguard tribute is planned for Saturday, August 5th at 9:00am, in the 8th Street parking lot in front of Seal Beach Lifeguard Headquarters. A paddle out will start at 10:00am, followed by a Celebration of Life to share old stories at River's End Café at 11:30am.

The Family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Chief Steve Cushman Memorial Fund. Donate Now.

Downloadable Seal Beach Memorial Flyer

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