Submitted by the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC)
With profound sorrow, Pacific Palisades Community Council announces the passing, after long illness, of esteemed PPCC Chair Emeritus George Wolfberg.
George was a long-time community activist, dedicated environmentalist, respected National Soccer Referee, UCLA Bruin enthusiast, gardener, chef and of course, loving family man. He was a cherished friend and mentor to countless Palisadians and colleagues throughout the City of Los Angeles. A proud recipient of the PPCC Community Service Award (2008), Citizen of the Year (2011) and Pride of the Palisades (2019) honors, George was the epitome of responsible leadership and dedicated service to his beloved Santa Monica Canyon and the entire Palisades community.
He first served as PPCC Chair from 2002-2004 and was elected again to the position in 2018 and 2019 (the first and only person to serve three+ terms as Chair). For six consecutive terms (12 years), he was elected by a wide margin as the At-Large representative for the entire community on the PPCC Board. Since 2004, he served as Chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (a Brown-Acted committee appointed in the fall of that year by Los Angeles City Council and approved by the Mayor), which issued its report with recommendations for the proposed Canyon park in 2008. Since then, George never paused in his efforts to ensure that the park would become a reality for all.
A long-time active board member and past Chair of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, he was a vital and respected leader of both PPCC and SMCCA. George established good relationships with elected officials, managers and workers in many jurisdictions and agencies. They seemed to welcome his calls, requests and inputs on behalf of our community. Often, a call from George would generate quick results.
One of the hallmarks of George’s leadership style was to make everyone feel that they could speak and would be heard. When he received the Citizen of the Year award, George characteristically remarked: “The roulette wheel stopped on my number . . . I just happened to be lucky, it could have been probably half the people in this room.” One of his guiding principles was summed up in his favorite quote: “You can quit when you die. Never, ever give up.”
George’s vast knowledge, un-flagging enthusiasm, optimism, tenacity, humility, guidance and friendship will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of working with and knowing him.
The PPCC Board extends our deepest sympathies to George’s wife Diane, his children and his many extended family members.
Will Rogers once said: “We can’t all be heroes because
somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”
We clap for George!