PASSINGS: Ramona Hahn, Rob Grill, Paul Michael

Ramona Hahn

Wife, mother of L.A.-area politicians

Ramona Hahn, 86, widow of the late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and mother of both former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, died Monday, her children announced. She was a longtime resident of San Pedro, where she died.


Her death came one day before the special election in the 36th Congressional District won by Janice Hahn, the Democratic nominee for the South-Bay based seat.

In a statement, her children called Ramona Hahn “without a doubt, the driving force behind our entire family.”

“Our parents were a team, working together to raise their family and to improve the lives of those Kenny represented,” her children said. “We have fond memories of our mother welcoming constituents into our home on Saturdays … working to address their problems.”

The daughter of missionaries, she was born Oct. 5, 1924, in Tokyo and lived in Japan until she was 11 and her family returned to the United States. Throughout her life, she was a devoted member of the Church of Christ.

While attending Pepperdine University, she met her future husband. When they married in 1948, Kenneth was already a member of the City Council. He became a county supervisor in 1952 and served on the board for 40 years. He died at 77 in 1997.

Her son, now a Superior Court judge, held the offices of city controller and city attorney and served as mayor from 2001 to 2005. Her daughter has spent the last decade on the City Council.

Their mother’s “constant concern for others,” her children said, inspired them to pursue careers in public service.

Rob Grill

Musician with rock band Grass Roots

Rob Grill, 67, a singer and bassist for the 1960s rock band the Grass Roots, died Monday at a hospice facility in Lake County, Fla., said Michael Hensley, director of the medical examiner’s office. The cause was not given.

Grill sang on such Grass Roots hits as “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Sooner or Later” and “Let’s Live for Today.” After songwriters P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri had a hit with “Where Were You When I Needed You?” in 1966, they recruited Grill and three more bandmates to join them in the Grass Roots. They racked up a string of hits before disbanding in 1975.

Grill, a Los Angeles native, released a solo album, “Uprooted,” in 1979. He began touring with a reconstituted version of the Grass Roots in the 1980s.

Paul Michael

Actor partnered with Marion Ross

Paul Michael, 84, a stage actor whose credits include several Broadway musicals and who appeared opposite his companion Marion Ross in Southern California productions of “Over the River and Through the Woods” and “Love Letters,” died of heart failure Friday at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center, according to publicist Dale Olson.

At the Old Globe in San Diego’s Balboa Park, Michael and Ross played one set of grandparents in Joe DiPietro’s “Over the River and Through the Woods” in 2000 and were paired again in 2010 for “The Last Romance,” a play DiPietro wrote for the couple.

Michael also starred opposite Ross, who played Mrs. Cunningham in the TV sitcom “Happy Days,” in stage productions of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” and the Hallmark Channel TV movie “Where There’s a Will.”

Born Aug. 15, 1926, in Providence, R.I., Michael served with the Army in the Pacific during World War II and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brown University. Trained as an opera singer, he made his Broadway debut in 1956 in the Judy Holliday musical “Bells Are Ringing.” Singing roles followed in several other Broadway shows and in musicals in theaters across the country. He frequently played Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Michael’s television credits include “Dark Shadows,” the daytime soap opera that became a cult favorite.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports