Al Tarkington, November 18, 1939-March 13, 2024

Al Tarkington, long time Del Mar resident, activist, councilmember, and Mayor from 1979 to 1980, died on March 13, 2024. Al was active in many pivotal programs and causes in Del Mar, including the acquisition of Powerhouse Park. He served as a key member of the citizen’s group championing the City’s acquisition of what is now Powerhouse Park and the Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center. As a CPA, Al was ideally suited to work on the financial issues relating to the acquisition, meeting with the property owners who had planned a restaurant for the site, and helping to establish the viability of the acquisition from the City’s perspective.


Al also served on the Board of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and was a tireless advocate for the environment and coastal access, including in front of his home on 11th Street adjacent to the bluffs and railroad tracks. Most recently, Al was the leader of the ongoing citizen effort to preserve and provide nesting opportunities for ospreys at San Dieguito Lagoon, a project he worked on until the day he died. His recent Sandpiper article about the ospreys is here.


Al and his wife, Stephanie (Steve) were married for 61 years. They shared wide-ranging interests, from bicycling and Ironman competitions to vintage cars and travel, and much more. After Al’s ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) diagnosis, his “Tark the Shark” team for the 2023 ALS Walk raised funds to support ALS research and advocacy. Information about a celebration of life gathering will be forthcoming.