Update: Memorial Set for Model Shop Owner Colby Evett

Evett's Model Shop—which will remain open—on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica is treasured on the Westside. Public memorial is scheduled for Saturday.

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.

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David February 26, 2013 at 03:30 PM
pretty sad, I've been in the shop many times. Will it continue in business?
mimi February 26, 2013 at 06:58 PM
I hope each of us lives until age 92, doing what we love. This was a life well spent.
Jenna Chandler (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Hi David, I swung by the shop today. Colby's wife said she will keep running the business. I've updated the story with that information — Jenna
Marcia Izumoto February 26, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Twenty years ago, I took my son to Evett's to buy models and kites. Mr. Evett was always very kind, helping my son find the correct item he needed. I'm sure many, many people have a memory or two.
Jim Rose February 27, 2013 at 12:15 AM
My deepest condolences to Yvonne and Mr. Evett's family. As a kid growing up in Inglewood and Hawthorne, I visited Colby's hobby shop from time to time to feed my deep love of model building. Now, at 66 I live in Washington State but still build models (mostly cars but some planes). In part, I have Colby and his wonderful hobby shop to thank for my life long love of model building. My wife and I plan on traveling this summer and I hope to be able to visit his shop then. Thank you so much for keeping the shop open. And thank you Jenna for the the article on Colby's shop and for the previous article celebrating the 65th anniversary of his shop. Thanks again. Jim Rose, Federal Way, Washington
Kage25x February 27, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Keith Martin Kaucher February 27, 2013 at 06:05 AM
So sorry to hear of his passing my condolences to his family I bought my very first car model from him in 1969, and was one of the few kids that he just let go behind the counter to look at the models before I bought one.
stewart resmer February 27, 2013 at 08:20 AM
all of this about the man who refind radio controlled fight, in a city that bans the art in open spaces? How ironic.
Cathy Evett February 27, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Daddy...I Love You.. Thank You my Hero..Fly High Daddy... I'll see You when I get there....R.I.P. ...ALL MY LOVE... Your Daughter, Chatty Cathy... Cathy Evett XO
SB March 01, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Condolences to Mr. Evett's family; he touched many lives and set a beautiful example. My father, who has been building a model airplane decades into his retirement, has spoken so highly of Mr. Evett and his wife, of the warm welcome during any visit to the store, and the time Mr. Evett took to provide advice and encouragement. God bless and may you hold onto many fond memories.
Dan Charney March 02, 2013 at 11:56 AM
This is a wonderful store and he was a magical man- a special man and place to go for anyone- whether you were into model planes or not- to me - he had a life well worth living -he gave to us all- so glad it will keep going- RIP dear man and my deepest condolences to his wife and family and all he touched


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