Gerald D. Zaslaw, who lived on a sailboat docked in Marina del Rey, died in a boating accident off the coast of Catalina Island Saturday, October 7th. He was 63 years old.

A celebration of his life was held Sunday, October 15th, at Vista del Mar Child and Family Services.

For 15 years, Zaslaw served as president and chief executive officer of Vista del Mar Child and Family Services, which is known for its residential and outpatient child services.

Zaslaw is credited with creating many of Vista del Mar’s programs.

“Jerry’s vision, expertise and unwavering commitment are in large part responsible for the preeminent position Vista holds today in the child welfare area,” said Dr. Elias Lefferman, Vista del Mar’s current president and chief executive officer.

Prior to joining Vista del Mar, Zaslaw served as executive director of the San Diego Center for Children, the Christie School and the North Idaho Children’s Home.

He served as assistant executive director of Five Acres and director of the Pasadena Drug Treatment Center and the Child/ Adolescent Secure Treatment Program at Oregon State Hospital.

A native of Minnesota, Zaslaw was born December 23rd, 1942. His family moved west and he grew up in Pasadena.

He received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and a master’s degree from USC. He had professional accreditation from the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

After retiring from Vista del Mar in 2002, Zaslaw and his wife Sandi made their home at sea.

When not living on their sailboat in the Marina, they cruised throughout Mexico and Central America.

At the time of Zaslaw’s passing, he and his wife were planning their next sailing trip to the U.S. East Coast and the Caribbean.

Zaslaw is survived by his wife of 26 years, Sandi; two grown sons, Chad and Jason; and two brothers Harvey and Steve.

Donations in his memory may be made to Vista del Mar Child and Family Services, 3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034.