Celebrating Pacific Palisades’ Elders

Photos by Lesly Hall Photography

More than 50 of the town’s 90- and-over residents attended the 21st annual birthday luncheon in their honor on June 3, hosted by the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club at its freshly remodeled clubhouse.

Chaired by Fay Vahdani (owner of Luxe Homecare), the free event included a tasty meal prepared by the chef at nearby Atria Senior Living, music by pianist Marie Captain, and vintage songs by the Santa Monica Chorus, the oldest Sweet Adelines chapter west of the Rockies. (The director’s name, ironically but appropriately, is Laura Pallas Singer.)

City Councilman Mike Bonin made a surprise visit and brought special certificates for the centenarians in the room.

The oldest honoree (by one week) was June Capp, 103, who was born on May 17, 1914, and has lived in the same house on Toyopa since 1954. Next was John Danley, 103, who moved here with his wife Shirley, also in 1954. Then came Marie Bird, 101, and Beulah Curry, 100, who both live at Atria.

Marie Bird, 101

Marie Bird, 101

Phyllis Genovese Kelly, 102, sent her regrets, having to pace herself for that afternoon’s memorial for her close friend, Ted Mackie. Madame Sylvia Wu, also 102, had planned to attend but was sidelined by a fall.

The 99-year-olds on hand included 63- year resident Alice Brown (who turns 100 on August 29) and Betty Lou Frick, a resident since 1940. Her centennial is next January 20.

John Danley, 103

John Danley, 103

There were three 98-year-olds: Ann Lewis, a former actress; Paul Morris, a former textile executive; and Bob Schiller, one of the four original writers for “I Love Lucy,” who has lived in the Riveria neighborhood for decades.

The 97-year-olds attending included Lois Eaton, Lewis Glenn, Lev Kline and Marcus Singleton.

June Capp, 103

June Capp, 103

The keynote speaker was Bill Bruns, advisor to the Palisades News, who noted that the luncheon tradition started in 1996 in Dr. Margaret Jones-Kanaar’s backyard on Via de la Paz. “She was celebrating her 92nd birthday and she wanted to have a big party for fellow 90-year-olds,” Bruns said. “Margaret hosted the lunch until 1999, when the Junior Women’s Club [now the Woman’s Club] stepped forward.”

During his remarks, Bruns praised the longevity of numerous married couples in attendance, especially Blanche and Reuben Rosloff (married 73 years), Irving and Sarah Moskovitz (69 years), Doris and Col. Dick Littlestone (68 years), Elaine and Dr. Mike Martini (67 years), and Susan and Bob Stein (67 years).

Mike and Elaine Martini have been married for 67 years.

Mike and Elaine Martini have been married for 67 years.

The event’s business and organization contributors included Luxe Homecare, Atria of Pacific Palisades, American Legion Post 283, Michael Edlen (Coldwell Banker), Kehillat Israel, Vivian’s Boutique, Trish Bowe State Farm, Balloon Celebrations, Dr. Damon Raskin, C.H.E.A.R. Physical Therapy, Knolls Pharmacy, Joy Moeller/Myofunctional Therapy, Palisades Compounding Pharmacy, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, The Palisades Dentists, Dr. Nasreen Babu-Kahn, Dentistry by Design, Hello Honey LA and The Yogurt Shoppe.

Individual supporters included PPWC President Catherine Ruddy, her predecessor Haldis Toppel, club manager Roberta Donohue, club VP Robin Weitz, Julia Winter and Ron Vinje.

Irving and Sarah Moskovitz have been married for 69 years.

Irving and Sarah Moskovitz have been married for 69 years.

Winter once again helped Vahdani organize the festivities and handed out numerous raffle prizes donated by various local businesses. She also conducted the trivia contest, which included the following question: “Who was the famous baseball announcer who was born in 1927 and lived for many years in Pacific Palisades?” Answer: Vin Scully.  Vahdani said after the event, “In addition to our generous sponsors, I also want to thank our club members and community members who helped us run this event very smoothly.” She also saluted Ron Vinje, whose wife Ingrid was an active club member and luncheon co-chair for three years, before passing away in 2015.

“So, for the last two years, Ron has been donating to our event in honor of his wife,”Vahdani said.“This year he went into the kitchen and put on a red apron and helped serve food to everybody. When I saw him in the kitchen, I couldn’t stop myself from crying.”

Blanche and Reuben Rosloff have been married 73 years.

Blanche and Reuben Rosloff have been married 73 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *