The Leisure World retirement community in Laguna Hills counts a number of prominent people among its residents, including movie actors, retired captains of industry, renowned scientists and educators, and admirals.
Some relatives of celebrities also live in Leisure World, including Christopher and Mary Ford, parents of actor Harrison Ford; Harry and Miriam Goldstein, parents of feminist-author Betty Friedan; Terry Jackson, mother of KABC radio talk show host Michael Jackson, and Jean Brokaw, mother of NBC national news anchor Tom Brokaw.
Here are some of the other more notable residents who call Leisure World home:
Allen, who declined to give her age, retired in 1972 after working for more than 30 years as professor of personnel administration and then dean of various colleges and universities around the country. She was associate professor of personnel administration at Stanford University in Palo Alto, dean of the Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh (now Chatham College), and dean of women at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Allen also served on three federal education commissions in Washington, D.C.
Broida, who gave her age only as “old enough to live in Leisure World,” is best known for her 1979 book, “Coping With Stroke,” written for families of stroke patients. As a speech pathologist for 30 years, Broida had worked with many stroke patients. Broida, a former professor of speech at USC, has just completed a novel and is starting another.
TELEVISION, RADIO AND FILM ACTOR
Soule, 80, retired 5 years ago after a 40-year acting career. He worked in more than 200 television series but was best known as pathologist Ray Pinker in “Dragnet.” Soule also has appeared in more than 60 movies, including “Girl From Jones Beach,” “Towering Inferno” and “Ten to Midnight.” He started in radio in 1933 and for about 10 years was the leading man of the “First Nighter” program. Soule currently is doing the voice-over, along with actress Vicki Risk, also a resident, in a documentary about Leisure World.
U.S. NAVY ADMIRAL.
Garton, 82, served in the Navy from 1923 until 1948 and commanded a 150-man aircraft tender during World War II. The ship, assigned to the Pacific theater, served as a refueling and maintenance point for naval warplanes. During his career with the Navy, Garton was also a pilot who flew everything from scouting planes to fighters and tested new Navy fighters. Garton left the Navy for a career in the aerospace industry, where he served as director of facilities for Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo and then Rockwell International Corp. in El Segundo before retiring 11 years ago.
DISNEY STUDIO CARTOONIST
Gould, 80, retired from Disney 10 years ago after a 43-year career with the film company during which he drew Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and many other cartoon characters in Disney’s animated movies. Gould also painted background artwork for Disney productions, including “Davy Crockett,” a film starring Fess Parker.
NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION MANAGER
Winn, 91, is known as “Mr. Leisure World,” both for his longevity of residence in the retirement community (24 years) and his role as a resident comedian. Winn worked for 39 years as a production manager for the Hollywood Citizen News. At Leisure World, Winn has served as master of ceremonies at more than 150 community functions and currently tells one-liners on a daily, 3-minute spot on Leisure World’s cable TV Channel 6.
Hyldegarde Howard Wylde
Wylde, 87, retired in 1967 after a 33-year career as paleontologist at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. Wylde worked largely with fossilized birds, particularly those found in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. She is still conducting paleontological research for the museum.
SPACE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Lederer, 86, retired 14 years ago from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was director of the agency’s space flight safety program during the Apollo moon walks of the late 1960s and early 1970s. After retiring from NASA, Lederer devoted his attention to the Flight Safety Foundation, a safety-related organization that he formed in 1947. Lederer, who is still widely quoted on aviation matters, remains president-emeritus of that foundation.
Loring, who is “over 65,” is a practicing psychologist who specializes in marital problems. Loring began her career as a psychological counselor in 1969 after spending many years as a teacher in public schools and universities in the New York City area. Today, she also gives courses and seminars on how the mind and the body can work together for better health, and she helps surgical patients overcome anxiety.
John (Jack) Luhring
Luhring, 77, spent almost 50 years in the banking industry, retiring in 1975 as executive vice president of Union Bank in Los Angeles. Luhring started his career as a lawyer representing Union Bank, then moved into management and worked his way up the executive ladder. He settled in Palm Desert and started the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts there before moving to Leisure World in 1979.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CONSULTANT
Tait, 81, retired 19 years ago as corporate manager of training and development for Chevron Corp. and since then has traveled all around the world, helping U.S. government agencies train managers in Third World countries. In that consulting capacity, Tait has been to such countries as Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil and Botswana. Last year, Tait climbed halfway up Mount Everest in Nepal.
Ugrin, 79, is a retired corporate vice president of Union Oil Co. of California (now Unocal Corp.) in Los Angeles. Ugrin retired from Union Oil in 1974 after working 40 years for the company in a variety of management positions. Since his retirement, Ugrin has kept busy in civic affairs. He served for 12 years as chairman of the board of Southern California Presbyterian Homes, an organization that runs retirement homes and senior citizen projects. He is currently president of the Golden Rain Foundation, Leisure World’s main governing body.
Strevey, 87, retired in 1966 as dean of the college of letters, arts and sciences at the University of Southern California, where he first began teaching in 1948. Before joining the faculty of USC, Strevey taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. Upon retirement from USC, Strevey joined the Ford Foundation, which sent him to Ethiopia to help run one of the universities connected with the foundation. Strevey and his wife, Margaret, moved to Leisure World in 1967, and there he has been active in local civic affairs, including serving a term as president of the Golden Rain board. Strevey is currently editing a 25-year history of Leisure World, due for publication in June.
Mautner, 76, retired about 4 years ago after more than 4 decades in music. Also known as Jerry Marlowe in the entertainment field, he is most noted for his behind-the-scenes work in Hollywood musicals from 1943 to 1953, including “Fancy Pants” starring Bob Hope, “Yolanda and the Thief” starring Fred Astaire and “Summer Holiday” starring Mickey Rooney. Mautner has also recorded children’s albums and has written a song about Leisure World that will be included in a 1-hour film documentary about the retirement community. The documentary, being produced by Leisure World’s Golden Rain Foundation, will air on Leisure World’s television station during the community’s 25th anniversary celebration from April to September.
Morley, 72, has been a foreign correspondent for 46 years, covering world news for such publications as the now-defunct Chicago Record Herald and the Christian Science Monitor. Sometimes called “Marco Polo Morley” because of his wide travels, Morley has covered seven wars, been arrested six times in Communist bloc countries, and has interviewed more than 60 world leaders. Today, Morley still does occasional radio commentaries and is a prolific lecturer.
CIRCUS AND ROCK MUSIC PUBLICIST
O’Connor, 71, retired in 1982 after a nearly 40-year career as publicist for various circuses and rock music productions such as “Jesus Christ Superstar.” O’Connor spent most of her career as a circus publicist, handling publicity for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Clyde Beatty Circus. She left the circus business in 1969 after her husband, Norman Carroll O’Connor, a circus ringmaster, died. She then became “the oldest counterculture rock publicist around,” she said.
Risk, who is “over 65,” still maintains an active career as an actress in television sit-coms and commercials, specializing in comic portrayal of characters with Italian, Jewish and Irish dialects. Risk, whose acting career began 40 years ago on the stage, has done TV comedy bits on the Red Skelton, Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart shows. She also has appeared on “Dragnet,” “General Hospital” and “Young and the Restless,” among other programs. She currently is doing some of the voice-over for the Leisure World documentary.
SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR
Sonin, 70, retired in 1976 after serving for nearly 30 years as director of school food service for the Riverside Unified School District. During her tenure, the Riverside school district won an international award for food service. Sonin also oversaw major expansion in the district’s food service program as the district grew from seven schools when she started to 35 when she retired. During that same period, the district’s food service budget mushroomed from $90,000 to $1.5 million a year. Sonin grew up in Oregon and taught Braille to soldiers blinded during World War II before beginning her school district career.
Plato and Rita Ustinov
UNCLE AND AUNT OF ACTOR-PLAYWRIGHT-
AUTHOR PETER USTINOV
Plato Ustinov, 85, and his wife, 80, are accomplished professionals in their own right. Plato Ustinov still works as a painter and sculptor. Rita Ustinov is a retired dress designer and fashion director for McCall’s magazine in New York.