Legendary Del Mar figure Gene Requa dies at 94

Gene Requa, 94, of Del Mar, a retired Studebaker engineer, died sometime between the evening of July 31 and Aug. 1.

Anyone in Del Mar who walked down “Little Orphan Alley” between Seventh and Eighth streets would have seen a Requa-designed Studebaker, “The Hawk.” He was well known in the community for his art, said Heather Glenn, who last saw Requa on July 31.

His great-uncle was Richard Requa, a famous early San Diego architect who designed buildings in Balboa Park, including the one now inhabited by the Natural History Museum.

A friend of Gene Requa’s, Scot Morris, said everyone who walked the cliffs in Del Mar between the lifeguard tower and Torrey Pines beach knew him.

“Nobody who met him didn’t love Gene,” said Morris.

Morris said Requa was distinctive and was known for the hand-painted, drawstring, line-dried pants he always wore.

Neighbors of Requa, Mimi and Dennis Mulligan, said he was a remarkable character. “He was a legend in Del Mar,” said Mimi Mulligan. “He built and lived in the same home on 140 7th St. since 1953.”

“He was a great guy,” said Dennis Mulligan. “He took in older dogs that people were abandoning, and for years his home was a refuge for troubled teens. They used to hang out at his place and camp out in his backyard.”

Dennis Mulligan said Requa painted, drew, designed and played music.

“He was all-around pretty talented,” he said.

Mulligan added that Requa was a strict vegetarian who was very thin but also very strong.

“He lived on brown rice,” he said. “He was doing pull-ups when he was in his 90s.

Mulligan also said that Requa always drove Studebakers and fixed them himself, and that he was an inspiration to youths who later went on to become auto mechanics.

He reportedly had no living family on the West Coast and is survived only by a niece who lives in the East.

Related posts:

  1. Salk cures defective gene
  2. Herb Klein dies at 91
  3. Figure 8
  4. UCSD medical pioneer dies
  5. Pete Newell, coach, dies at 93

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=4687

Posted by on Aug 6, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Rancho Santa Fe resident among seven new trustees joining UC San Diego Foundation Board
    Proactive stewards, higher education advocates and expert financial strategists, UC San Diego Foundation trustees play an important role in cultivating community partnerships and garnering resources to support UC San Diego research, teaching and public service initiatives. Trustees govern the Foundation, including managing net assets totaling $717 million, i […]
  • Rancho Fire District to recognize Fire Prevention Week with two events
    National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 5-11, and the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) will host two community events to recognize the annual awareness campaign. The first will be an Open House from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 4 at RSF Fire Station 2, 16930 Four Gee Road in 4S Ranch. Guests will be able to tour the fire station and traini […]
  • New Rancho Santa Fe Library Branch Manager welcomes community input
    Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new Branch Manager Haley Kwon has been charmed by the village’s “sweet, down-home” character, the simple pleasure of visiting the local library and people’s enjoyment of a slower speed of time. “It’s a small town and the library is a place for people to connect,” Kwon said. “People have a different sense of time here, they come in t […]