Service Clubs

Marje Koerber

As the new Service Clubs columnist, I would like to tell you a little

about myself. I am a licensed insurance solicitor in fire and casualty

for State Farm Insurance.

I have lived in the Glendale area most of my life. I am married to Bob

Koerber, a native of Glendale. We graduated from Glendale High School and

attended Glendale Community College. Bob owned and operated Glendale

Transfer & Storage and the Koerber Warehouse Co. -- a continuous family

operation from 1894 to 1994.

Bob retired in 1994 when the city of Glendale took the business

property to build a parking lot down by the Southern Pacific Railroad,

progress, you know. We have eight sons and daughters, plus many

grandchildren. Six of our children attended Crescenta Valley High School.

I also write for the Big Bear Magazine in Big Bear Lake, where we have

a second home. I have been a member of the American Business Women's

Assn. in Glendale since 1979 and am serving as president of the

Verdugo-Glen Chapter and received the group's Woman of the Year 2000


I have participated in other organizations also, such as Big Sisters

of America, the National Cancer Society and the March of Dimes. My

interests are cooking and collecting recipes, reading, going on the lake

with my husband, (he fishes, I read), and writing, of course. I am

working on a cookbook and hope someday to publish "the great American


This column will appear biweekly on Wednesdays. I can be reached at

353-8518, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. My e-mail address is

Please contact me to let me know of your club's activities, meeting

dates and times. I will be visiting various service clubs in the Glendale

area as I am replacing Victor Legerton. Before Victor, Bob Young Sr.

wrote the column.

You might be wondering what Bob is doing these days. Following his

88th birthday in November 1999, Young decided it was time to quit

"working," although he said he never really considered writing the

columns as work.

He decided it was time to enjoy a more leisurely life with plenty of

siesta time. Young said he was never a golfer or fisherman, but has lots

of interesting hobbies, which include house and garden renovating,

crafting Early American-style furniture and restoring antiques, as well

as walking.

Bob is continuing his activity with service clubs, which began way

back in 1946, when he came to Los Angeles from New England and joined a

service club for the first time -- the Optimist Club of Highland Park.

Young became president in 1952, followed by a year as lieutenant

governor, a two-year stint as district secretary, and went on to become

district governor in 1956-57. During his term as governor, the district

increased from 150 clubs to 173, the largest in Optimist International.

Young's most recent activity in Optimism started about a year ago,

following his retirement as service club columnist. He was asked to

assume the presidency of the La Canada Optimist Club. The club had not

been meeting for more than two years, although the club's district and

international dues were current.

It took Bob and the remaining eight members just nine months to turn

the La Canada club around to become the fifth highest achiever in the

district. During Young's presidency, the La Canada Optimist Club enjoyed

more than 100 percent increase in membership.

At the district's quarterly meeting in Visalia Feb. 10 and 11, Young received, on behalf of the La Canada Optimist Club, the Optimist

International's Silver Honor Club award, a distinction surpassed by only

four other Optimist clubs in the Pacific Southwest. He is very proud of

this accomplishment and the fact that he played an active part.

Young is a 55-year Optimist and the district's oldest living past

governor. He is especially adept at rebuilding weak clubs, beginning with

the Northgate Optimist Club in Glassell Park in 1975.

Recently, during his brief sojourn with the Rotary Club, while

retaining his membership in Optimist International, he assisted in

rebuilding a local Rotary Club, stepping up its community service

activities and increasing its membership more than 300%.

MARJE KOERBER writes about service clubs on alternating Wednesdays.

She can be reached via e-mail at, fax 352-6599, or day

time phone 353-8518.

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