WALNUT CREEK -- Neighbors expressed shock Thursday at the death of Ted Park, who drowned Wednesday after being swept away by a large wave on a Baja California beach.

Park, 72, was with his wife, Shinae, 66, when the wave struck on a beach in Los Cabos, Mexico. Shinae Park suffered respiratory injuries in the incident. Ted Park's body was recovered about 800 yards from where the wave struck the couple, about two hours later.

"That is awful," said Berta Cardona, 53, who said she met the Parks more than 20 years ago when her family moved in a few houses down from the Parks on a quiet cul-de-sac off North Main Street. "He was a very friendly man, very respectful."

Cardona said she would often see Park, an engineer, out for walks with his dog. He also enjoyed golf, she said.

Both of the Parks had retired in recent years, according to Roque Wong, 66, who lives next door. The couple have three sons, he added.

"He's always been very friendly to (my) kids," Wong added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.