Erwin S. de Mocskonyi, 60, of Newport Beach, a former Hungarian sailing team member who defected to the West in 1947 and came to the United States in 1949, died Saturday at the age of 60.
He worked for the Aeronutronic Division of Ford Motor Co. in Newport Beach and recently owned a land brokerage firm. Active in civic affairs, he served for 18 years as a director of the Boys' Club of the Harbor Area.
De Mocskonyi learned to sail on Lake Balaton in western Hungary and was a leading competitor in boat racing in Hungary when he defected. After an international competition in France in 1947, de Mocskonyi slipped aboard a train that carried him to Switzerland.
He lived in France for two years before coming to the U.S. He worked his way through the University of Southern California as a ski coach, earning an engineering degree.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemarie, six children and six grandchildren. Services are set for 11 a.m. today at San Joachim Catholic Church in Costa Mesa.