Joseph Kamansky: Limited Candle Power But A Heart Of Gold

Joseph Kamansky was born in Ontario on September 17, 1914, the son of David Kamansky, an immigrant from Russia, and Frieda Silvers Kamansky of Ohio. He attended Euclid Elementary School, Chaffey High School, and Chaffey Junior College. At Chaffey College he majored in agriculture, graduating in 1935. In partnership with his brother Louis, he began ranching in south Ontario. Five years later, in partnership with Fred Beal, he began a 21-year career as the owner of a service station and garage on Holt Boulevard in Ontario.
He married Maralyn Rosalie Schisler, the daughter of George and Mamie Schisler in Riverside on August 1, 1936. The couple made their residence in Upland. They were the parents of two sons, Gerald L. and David L., and the grandparents of four grandsons.
During World War II, Joe was the assistant purchasing agent for the Loud Machine Works, manufacturers of aircraft parts, in Pomona, while still managing the family ranch.
He joined the Upland Kiwanis Club in 1957, participating in several committees.
He was a member of the Chaffey College Booster Club for many years and a director on the Board of the Chaffey High School Alumni Association and officiated at the Chaffey High School Invitational track meet for 33 years. He was a member of that school’s booster club and was on the advisory committee for the building of homes by the students.
In 1962 he and his wife, who went by the name Rosalie, began their successful shared real estate career. Those who associated with them professionally said that Rosalie was the brains behind the real estate operation.
In 1962. Joseph obtained a real estate license and went to work for the M.R. Kamansky Realty Company as an associate and office manager. In 1963 he returned to Chaffey College part time to take courses in economics and finance. Joe quickly became active on many committees for the Inland Empire West Board of Realtors. He served on the Ontario-Upland-Chino Board of Realtors and on the membership, legislation, political affairs, professional standards, convention and ethics committees for the board. He also served on the California Association of Realtors State Membership Steering Committee for six years and was the district chairman for the 26th District, which encompassed the San Gabriel Valley, Covina Valley, Azusa-Glendora, Pomona Valley and Ontario-Upland Chino boards of Realtors.
Affable and well meaning, he was active in community civic affairs as a member of the board of directors of the West End YMCA for close to fifty years, and was honored with the YMCA’s Man of the Year award in 1975. For 10 years, he sponsored the Eagle Scout Annual Dinner. As early as the 1940s, he had been the president of the 20-30 Club while he was a Little League baseball coach. He was a recipient of the Kiwanis “Service to Youth” award in 1975. He was a member and director of the West End United Way Budget Committee for 20 years and was vice-chairman for eight years and chairman in 1976. He served on the Upland Mayor’s Advisory Committee in 1976-77 to plan the use of federal funds being allocated to the city of Upland. He was presented with the 1976 Bicentennial Award for Humanities by the city of Upland.
Though he was known as a good guy with a heart of gold, there were those who sought to exploit him because he was not all that smart. In 1976, many in the community were astounded to learn that he was appointed to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors from the Second District to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Daniel D. Mikesell, who resigned in September 1976 due to failing health. Then-county administrative officer Earl Goodwin, along with those on the board – Dennis Hansberger, James Mayfield, Robert Townsend and Nancy Smith – knew Kamansky could be counted on to do exactly what he was told. He was a lackluster, caretaker supervisor, with no notable accomplishments, serving until December 4, 1978, when he was succeeded by Cal McElwain.
As Second District supervisor, Kamansky did have one lasting political impact, when he successfully lobbied the presiding judge of the county to appoint Jon Mikels, who was elected to the Rancho Cucamonga City Council in 1977 and possessed degrees from Cal State LA, Cal State Dominguez Hills and USC, court coordinator at the West Valley Courthouse, which was then located at Sixth Street and Mountain Avenue in Ontario. Mikels would go on to become Rancho Cucamonga mayor and later Second District supervisor.
Kamansky was a member of the Elks Club.
On October 11, 1995, then-congressman Jay Kim entered into the record of the House of Representatives remarks honoring Kamansky. “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. Joseph Kamansky,” said Kim.
On September 17, 1997, after a full life of generosity and on his 83rd birthday, Kamansky passed away at San Antonio Hospital.

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