Memorial for husband-father-surfer killed in Bali blast
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Surfers paddled into the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean Saturday to pay tribute to a Huntington Beach husband, father, and avid surfer who was killed in a Bali resort bombing.
More than 400 friends and family gathered at the favorite surfing spot of Steven “Webby” Webster, whose love of riding the waves brought him halfway around the world to celebrate his 41st birthday.
Webster was among the nearly 200 people killed in the Oct. 12 bomb blast at Club Sari on the Indonesian resort island.
“It just shows you how one person can touch so many hearts,” said his friend, Jerry Lehman, surrounded by surfers in wetsuits and wearing leis. “The guy was great.”
His widow, Mona Webster, was visibly distraught and almost speechless as she addressed the crowd and received a hand-delivered condolence letter from President Bush.
Webster was sitting at a Kuta Beach bar with friend Steven Cabler when the bomb ripped through the bar and flames engulfed the area.
Cabler, who was sitting just inches from Webster when the bomb exploded, sat stoically in a wheelchair on the beach, his arm in a sling, his hands bandaged.
“This is a great turnout,” he said, wiping away tears.
Some friends spoke angrily about the innocent lives taken in the blast.
Wearing a wetsuit, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, urged vigilance in the war on terrorism.
The final tribute was a group “paddle-out” past waves where surfers formed a memorial circle in the ocean and chanted “Webby, Webby, Webby.”
Webster’s body has yet to be returned from Indonesia.