The daughter of a South Bay native killed in August during a boating crash in Canada involving TV personality Kevin O’Leary remembered her father as a man with deep roots in Southern California who successfully balanced his career and fatherhood.
Gary Poltash, 64, most recently of Belleair Beach, Fla., was one of two people who died after a boat they had been riding on collided with a vessel owned by O’Leary, of Shark Tank fame, on Lake Joseph in central Ontario, The Globe and Mail reported. Suzana Brito, 48, of Uxbridge, Canada, succumbed to her injuries in a hospital two days after the crash, while Poltash died at the scene late Saturday, Aug. 24.
Poltash’s brother, Larry Poltash, has said the Poltash family — including Gary’s son Alex Poltash and daughter Allison Poltash — is seeking answers about what caused the crash, the Toronto Sun reported.
Gary Poltash will be honored during a Saturday morning service at Green Hills Memorial Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, Allison Poltash announced on Instagram.
“Join us in celebrating my father’s life. To honor his legacy and value of education, we have created a GoFundMe to support the three children of Suzana Brito, who tragically passed away in the same accident as my dad,” Allison Poltash said in the post.
Her father had been enjoying a weekend of watercraft fun and leisure with friends in one of his favorite places on Earth right before his life ended, Allison Poltash said in an interview. Despite the tragedy of her father’s unexpected death, she said she found some comfort in knowing that he was with loved ones at the time.
“He had a great last day,” she said. “He lived his life, up until its final moments, to the fullest.”
She described him as a fun-loving man who worked hard so that he could provide for his family and be present in his children’s lives. He was born in Inglewood, grew up in Hawthorne and graduated from USC, where he had been a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Allison Poltash called her father an avid sports fan and a “strong, spirited Trojan,” who wasn’t beyond donning cardinal and gold face paint during football games. His experience is part of what inspired his daughter to also attend USC, where she graduated from the Marshall School of Business in 2017.
Gary Poltash spent time employed by a company in Southern California before founding his own real estate accounting firm based out of Manhattan Beach, Property Tax Advisors, in 1998. He spent more than a decade building the business. During those years, his daughter remembered how he was up early every morning to support his family, but was somehow still able to regularly find time to spend with his kids.
“He wasn’t crunching numbers all day, every day,” Allison Poltash said. “He valued his family time over sitting late at night in the office.”
He often took his family to professional basketball, baseball and hockey games in the Los Angeles area. Poltash also served as a coach in his daughter’s soccer league and his son’s baseball league.
His daughter added that the Southern California businessman’s interest in local youth sports extended beyond supporting his children. He was a fan of the volleyball and football programs at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach and regularly attended their games, though neither of his kids were students of the school. It was one of many quirks Allison Poltash remembered about her father.
In 2012, Gary Poltash sold Property Tax Advisors, married his second wife, Pauline New, and relocated to Asheville, N.C. to be closer to her. They later moved to Belleair Beach, partly because “he just missed the beach,” his daughter said.
“He wasn’t a planner, but he always had a goal in mind,” she said.