Clair W. Burgener, who served on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club board of directors starting in 1986, died Sept. 9 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 84.
A five-term U.S. congressman, Mr. Burgener helped guide Del Mar through a period of unprecedented growth in the 1980s and '90s before becoming director emeritus in 2003 when his illness limited him.
"Clair was just a wonderfully warm man who was happiest when he was helping you," said DMTC president and general manager Joe Harper, who worked with Burgener for more than two decades. "He was always willing to offer his counsel and it invariably was wise advice."
A Utah native, Burgener served in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and also saw duty in the Korean War. He served on numerous boards, including the Board of Regents of the University of California. He is survived by his wife, Marvia, and two sons.