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Longtime local trails, open-space supporter Marc Stirdivant passes away

Marc Stirdivant was a former employee with the city of Glendale and strong supporter of local trails and open space. He passed away this week.
(Courtesy of Jeanette Stirdivant)
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Marc Stirdivant, a former city of Glendale employee who helped bring in millions of grant dollars to support local park projects as well as being a longtime supporter of local trails and open space, passed away on Tuesday.

Born in San Pedro on Dec. 6, 1948, he was a cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in cinema and worked in the motion picture and television industry as a writer, production executive and assistant director for more than 30 years.

He wrote the movie “Condorman,” which was released by Walt Disney Studios in 1981, and produced multiple movies including “Night Crossing,” also for Disney in 1982, and “Without a Clue” for Orion Pictures in 1988.

He ended his entertainment career in 2004 after 10 years as assistant director on the Emmy Award-winning television series “Frasier.” It was at that time that he decided to become a full-time environmentalist.

In 1997, he became involved in open-space issues affecting Glendale and the Crescenta Valley. He was a founding director of Glendale-Crescenta V.O.I.C.E., or Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment, was elected its president and served as its chairman of the board.

Beginning with only a handful of individuals, V.O.I.C.E. now has nearly 4,000 donors, supporters and volunteers.

For the last twelve years, Marc has been involved in the fight to save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course in the Tujunga neighborhood in Los Angeles. The golf course is the site of the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station, which housed more than 3,000 Japanese, Italians, Germans and Peruvians of Japanese descent after the outbreak of World War II.

Stirdivant represented Glendale on the advisory committee of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and served on the board of directors for the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. He was its executive director from 2005 to 2007.

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From 2007 to 2012, he worked as a senior administrative analyst for the city of Glendale, applying for grants and helping secure 15 grants totaling $17 million, which supported many efforts such as a project at Maple Park and Community Center, a renovation at Palmer Park and the Fitness in the Parks program, according to Onnig Bulanikian, the city of Glendale’s director of community services and parks.

After retirement, Stirdivant stayed with the city as an hourly employee and headed up the GO, or Glendale Outdoors, program for both north and south Glendale, which brought students to Deukmejian Wilderness Park for various activities.

He also worked with volunteers to help maintain local trails at Deukmejian Park and the the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk area.

Earlier this year, he was helping out on an upcoming renovation project of the barn at Deukmejian Park, according to Bulanikian said.

Stirdivant married his high-school sweetheart, Jeanette, on Aug. 30, 1970. They were married for 48 years and 11 months.

Jeanette Stirdivant worked at Glendale Community College, and that is why they moved from Downey to Glendale in 1995. She retired from the college as dean of students in 2015.

Marc Stirdivant wrote for the Los Angeles Times Travel section called Weekend Escapes. “I am so sorry. Marc was a favorite contributor, a pleasure to work with and a real pro,” said the paper’s travel editor Catharine Hamm.

Marc Stirdivant was an avid runner and ran in at least 11 half-marathons.

Besides his wife, Marc Stirdivant is survived by his daughters Bethany Stirdivant and Kimberly Stirdivant Wason, son-in-law, Roger Wason, grandson, Sebastian Wason, and sister, Jill Stirdivant Stanley.

A celebration of Marc Stirdivant’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 15 at La Cañada Presbyterian Church 626 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge.

Following will be a gathering at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale.

Donations in his memory can be made to Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition 12953 Branford St., Pacoima, CA, 91331 or visit www.tunacanyon.org/donate/.