Updated at 1 p.m.
Colby Evett, a pioneer of radio controlled airplanes who ran Evett's Model Shop—one of the last remaining model shops on the Westside—on Ocean Park Boulevard for 65 years, has died.
The longtime Santa Monica resident was 92.
Evett has said he always loved planes, but was reportedly unable to fly them himself because of poor vision.
Born March 9 in South Carolina, he worked for McDonnell-Douglas aircraft, which was based in Santa Monica, before serving in the Navy from 1944-46. Then in January 1948, he opened the model shop with his first wife.
It was there that he shared his passion with children and other model builders. In the 1950s, he put in money to construct an airstrip in Van Nuys. He also built models for Hollywood movies and commercials, according to LAist.
Evett spent five years developing a radio system for model airplanes, but never secured a patent for his invention—the first multi-toned transmitter and receiver that "allows an RC-controlled vehicle to conduct more than one function at a time," according to the Santa Monica LookOut.
That makes Mr. Evett the Elvis of the RC hobby. He is swarmed at every RC conference he attends, and has been the focus of many national and international magazines.
Today, model war planes, some built by Evett himself, hang from the shop's ceilings. Balsa wood of varying shapes and sizes, along with paints, glues, brushes, and other crafts, tools and toys are nestled on the shelves.
Customers says the shop reminds them of the kind they visited as children. Evett continued to work there daily until shortly before his death Feb. 16.
"I feel like I had a real good life doing what I wanted to do, so get out and do some work—it's good for ya," he says in a short documentary, "Colby And His Planes."
SEE ALSO: Gliding Back in Time With Evett's Model Shop
Friends and family will help Evett's second wife, Yvonne, keep the store open.
"I'll never be able to fill his shoes," she said. But "he said, 'you can either sit there or you can sit at home.'"
A public memorial is scheduled for noon Saturday at Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors, at 1925 Arizona Ave. Public viewings are scheduled 6-8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to noon Saturday.