Obituary: John "Gus" Degenkolb
John “Gus” Degenkolb, 95, a retired Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief, fire prevention code consultant engineer, husband, father, grandfather, and brother, died on Dec. 4, 2010. His loving wife, Eleanor, predeceased him in 1996, and his son, David, in 2006.
John was born to Rev. Gustav and Alice Degenkolb on Oct. 24, 1915, in Chicago, Ill. He attended San Diego State University and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a major in forestry in May 1938. He served a year with Los Angeles County as a forester and fire warden and had a 22-year career with the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1940 through 1962. He met Eleanor Bogue and was married in December 1939. John attended Officers Candidate School at Notre Dame and served as a Lieutenant J.G. in the U. S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. After discharge from the Navy, John returned to the fire department where he served in various capacities including participation on the Fire Prevention Bureau.
During his career as a fire prevention code consultant engineer, he was instrumental in promoting safety codes that have created a safer environment in which we all live. He has received many awards for his work in fire and public safety. Sprinklers in all buildings are one of the most known results of his work.
John enjoyed fishing and camping in his younger years. He spent many years camping with family and friends in the Grover Hot Springs area, fishing the East Carson River and Wolf Creek. Travel became his passion in his senior years. He travelled to most locations in the world with New Zealand being one of his favorite places to revisit.
His survivors include his daughter and son-in-law Barbara and George Parmenter of Carson City; daughter Alice Kujawa of Incline Village; and his nieces, who were raised as daughters, Linda (Bob) Southwick of Christina Lake, British Columbia, and Sherry Peterson of Troy, Mont. He also leaves four grandchildren, Robert Degenkolb of Austin, Texas, Mark (Dianna) Degenkolb of Torrance, Calif., Karen Parmenter, and John Parmenter, both of Laguna Beach, Calif. Oris Degenkolb, his younger brother, lives in Davis, Calif. An older brother, Henry Degenkolb, predeceased him.
A memorial service to celebrate John “Gus” Degenkolb’s life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church, Carson City, with the Rev. Bruce Kochsmeier officiating. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made in John’s memory to The Building Fund, First Presbyterian Church, 306 W. Musser St., Carson City, NV 89703.