Former 2nd District Kern County Supervisor Don Maben lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 26, 2017. He was 75. Born in Los Angeles, Don was the son of Donald and Bernice (Williams) Maben. He has one sister, Lois Maben, of La Puente, Calif.
Don spent his early years working in the Maben Nursery, a successful family business. After graduating in 1959, from La Puente Union High School, he entered the Marine Corps and proudly served our country for four years.
Following an honorable discharge, he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and worked on several high-profile cases. He retired, as lieutenant, in 1986. During his tenure on the force, Don went to school part time — earning his bachelor of science degree, from California State University – Los Angeles, in 1977.
Upon this “retirement” from the LASD, Don began to focus on his new community of Tehachapi. Few people knew that, for six months, he was the other “Don” at Pioneer True Value Home Center on South Street or that he took the reins of the Tehachapi Hospital for three years. These jobs helped him pass the time and get better acquainted with his newly adopted home.
His next assignment was working for Kern County as a field representative for County Supervisor Steve Perez. After eight years of traversing District 2 for Steve, he ran and won the office of District 2 County Supervisor, a position he held until his retirement in December 2010.
Courageous, committed and compassionate are three words used to describe Don. He stood up for his convictions — even in the face of adversity. He was loyal to firmly-held principles — dedicating countless hours to the cause. He was compassionate to both family and friends — generously giving time for the welfare of others.
In addition to his work at the County, Don provided leadership to the Tehachapi Mountain Festival, Tehachapi Wind Fair, Tehachapi High School FFA and Tehachapi Warrior Boosters. He could be seen grilling tri-tip, flipping pancakes, roasting chicken, or picking up trash in the desert on any given weekend.
While Don was indeed a great servant leader, it was his dedication to Billie that made him shine. Don met Belen (Billie) Mora in 1967, while working for LASD. He was smitten from the start. Don’s characteristic decisiveness led him to a proposal and marriage in June of the following year. He was never shy about declaring that she (Billie) was the “love of his life.” The nearly five decades of marriage blessed the couple with four beautiful daughters and their families.
Don is survived by his sister Lois; wife Billie; daughters and son-in-laws Rose and John Martinez of Ontario, Michele and Eric Wilder of Garden Grove, Valerie and Mark Cusimano, Hilary and Lee Romo all of Tehachapi. He has 15 grandchildren, Marissa, Michael, Jason, Nicole, Adrian, Felicia, Emily, Paige, Erica, Morgan, Isabella, Peter, Jonathan, Ashley and Lana; and 10 great-grandchildren Gabriel, Zackary, Zariah, Matthew, Luis, Olivia, Valerie, Sophie, Milo and Harley — all of whom lovingly called him “Grampy.” He was preceded in death by his parents and his precious grandson Jacob Langston.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at St. Malachy Catholic Church, Tehachapi at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Honor Flight Kern County, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Tehachapi Humane Society would honor his legacy.