THE FORMING WAVE  | Mark Bixby Memorial | Long Beach, CA | January 2011 

A sculpture honoring Long Beach favorite son Mark Bixby dedicated "The Forming Wave" monument is dedicated at the Belmont Pool Plaza Friday, in memory of community leader Mark Bixby, who was one of five people killed in a plane crash at Long Beach Airport March 16. The memorial monument was created by local artist Patrick Vogel and was hosted by the Bixby family and Bikeable Communities and was installed outside the pool at 4000 E. Olympic Plaza. (Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram) Photo Gallery Throughout his 44-year life, Mark Bixby did it all - he was an avid surfer, bicycle advocate, handyman, community leader, businessman and father of three. It was for these reasons that local artist Patrick Vogel was insistent on creating a monument that captured all of Bixby's qualities and coupled that with his love of the ocean. The sculpture, called "Forming Wave," was unveiled Friday at the entrance of Belmont Shore Veterans Memorial Pier as a crowd of nearly 100 people looked on. "The energy of the wave is a representation of the energy and spirit that Mark had for Brett Bixby during the dedication of a stainless steel "The Forming Wave" monument dedicated at the Belmont Pool Plaza Friday, in memory of his brother, community leader Mark Bixby, who was one of five people killed in a plane crash at Long Beach Airport March 16, 2011. Jensen survived the crash but suffered major burns. (Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram) life," Vogel said. "Great men leave great impressions, great men do more than what is asked, great men lead by example, great men are humble and respectful. We are here today to remember Mark Bixby. He was a great man." The husband and father of three was killed in a plane crash, along with four other men, at Long Beach Airport on March 16, 2011, while en route to Salt Lake City to go skiing. Mike Jensen, Bixby's boss and owner of Pacific Retail Partners, was the sole survivor of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the crash ruled in May that the airplane was 653 pounds overweight at takeoff and that water may have compromised its engines. However, the report didn't Advertisement pinpoint any one factor as being the central cause of the deadly plane crash. Jensen, whose face has visible scars from the accident, opened Friday's dedication with a prayer, remembering Bixby as a man with "unlimited passion and compassion, a man with boundless energy who never stopped giving." Long Beach businessman and friend of Bixby, Martin Howard, said, "This morning this was a pile of dirt, and now it is a memorable memorial for all of Long Beach to enjoy." The Attendees examine the Mark Bixby memorial monument, which was created by local artist Patrick Vogel. (Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram) stainless steel sculpture is equipped with a special linear light system that is programed with blue, green and yellow that will give the effect of a crashing wave, Vogel said. "The wave has a pronounced backbone on the backside," Vogel said. "I did this purposely. Mark was not only the backbone to all of us, but to the city that he loved so much." Sitting in front of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, famous for the 1968 and 1976 U.S. Olympic swim trials and also the site during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the memorial is in the heart of "all things active in Long Beach," said Brett Bixby, Mark Bixby's brother. "I feel in my heart that this is the appropriate place to honor Mark, in view of the ocean and alongside a bike path," Brett Bixby said. "Being outdoors and active was his passion. I think Mark will appreciate that kids and families, sportsmen and women, and active community members will pass by here daily." Brett Bixby said a wave is the best possible symbol for his brother's life. "Mark loved waves," he said. "This is a wave at its peak brimming with energy and direction and grace, driven by the forces of the sea, the persistent and constant coming of the spirit of mother nature that keeps us all humble. "It is an expression of potential and regeneration - we all deal with waves of joy and pain, triumphs and failures, love and loss.", 562-714-2128,