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Opinion: Remembering a longtime L.A. Times contributor who cared about her readers

Longtime L.A. Times contributing columnist Donie Vanitzian in 1990.
(Vanitzian family)

To the editor: Donie Vanitzian’s premature death is tragic and senseless. Her columns, full of special knowledge and enthusiastic advocacy, were without doubt read and appreciated by many thousands of homeowners and carefully scrutinized by thousands of association boards. (“Longtime L.A. Times contributor Donie Vanitzian remembered as champion of homeowner rights,” obituary, Jan. 6)

A personal tribute: Many years ago Vanitzian enthusiastically jumped in to assist me in helping a disabled homeowner recover considerable money she had paid out for damages to the outside of her home — damages obviously caused from our association’s sprinkler system. The board had “studied” the claim and pronounced the damage an “act of God,” for which the association was not responsible.

I wrote to Vanitzian and she promptly called me. She was professionally upset and quickly assisted me in securing a complete reversal from the board, granting my disabled friend full reimbursement for her expenses. A small matter, perhaps, but to Vanitzian, an ethical victory.

June Maguire, Mission Viejo

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To the editor: Thank you for giving Vanitzian the recognition she deserved. Her columns were always an important part of the Sunday paper.

She was fierce, smart and dedicated to the conversation on homeowners associations. Her good advice and friendship to many of us will be greatly missed.

Karen Gray, Los Angeles

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