Don Temple Storage U-Store & Lock in Long Beach, Calif., which proclaims to be Southern California’s first self-storage facility, celebrated its 50-year anniversary on July 7. A party to honor the milestone and facility owner Don Temple, who died in 2013 at age 85, was held at Long Beach Police Officers Association Park. Open to the public, the three-hour event included music from the Elm Street Band, the Aquarium on Wheels display from the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Long Beach Symphony Petting Zoo, refreshments and giveaways.
The event was attended by Sumer Temple, Don Temple’s daughter and the current facility owner. The celebration was more about thanking local residents for their support, she told the source. A flat-screen TV and laptop computer that displayed a video of her father’s story during the affair were given away as prizes afterward.
Born on Aug. 19, 1927, in Morris, Kan., Don Temple launched his entrepreneurial career at age 14, owning a business with his father in which he delivered blocks of ice and sold re-varnished oak iceboxes. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marines for three years and spent two years in the Navy during the Korean War.
Don Temple opened his first self-storage facility at 3750 E. Spring St., near Long Beach Airport, on July 7, 1968. He’s credited with building the nation’s first ground-up, multi-story storage project. He also co-founded real estate firm Bancap Self Storage Group Inc. and was inducted into the national Self Storage Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009. He owned or partnered in nine facilities during his industry career, including three at the time of his death.
Temple also established the Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation, which donates money to local causes focused on the arts, children, education and healthcare. “Don started this foundation because it was important for him to give back to the community that rented storage units from him in the past,” said Marlene Temple, his wife of 14 years and the foundation president.
In addition to his business interests, Don Temple was an avid pilot, owning 32 planes during his lifetime. He participated in the 1992 Around-the-World Air Rally, flying his own twin-engine Cessna while raising money for Community Hospital Long Beach.