Lionel Mytinger, a longtime Laguna Beach resident known to many as “Train,” passed away on Jan. 17 from natural causes. He was 68. Mytinger was a surf legend, a nurseryman, a caretaker, and lover of people.
Born on June 24, 1945, in New York City, Lionel was a young boy when his family set out for California. After a brief time in Santa Ana, it wasn’t long before the Mytinger family arrived in Laguna. Lionel attended Servite High School, Mater Dei, and finally, when he was a junior he was able to talk his mom into letting him finish his high school years at Laguna Beach High, where he graduated in 1963.
Having much more free time before and after school, he then became serious about surfing and logged in countless hours, days, weeks, and years competing and creating a real style of his own on the waves. He was highly admired by his peers as being “one of Laguna’s best.”
Mytinger worked at Laguna Nursery for more than 25 years where he met and helped many locals. He later became a caregiver who kindly devoted himself to serving others. He was a gentle, loving soul.
A parishioner at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Mytinger served as a lector, a catechist, and a sponsor for new members through the RCIA education program. For many years, he graciously and faithfully took an elder church parishioner to mass in her wheelchair every day.
He is survived by his daughters, JonAnn, Thalia, and Monica; and four grandchildren, Chandler, Mariah, Danika, and Arianna. Mytinger left a host of friends who knew he was a real, genuine Laguna guy. He will be missed by many.
A memorial celebration of his life will take place at St. Catherine’s Parish, on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. All who knew him are invited to attend.