George Sander Wolfberg
1938 - 2020
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April 1938 - February 5, 2020 George Sander Wolfberg, b. 1938, lived his entire life in Los Angeles. He is survived by wife of 56 years, Diane Wolfberg, children Anya McCann (and Richard McCann), David (and Lin Lin Oo), and Michael Wolfberg, and grandchildren Avital and Yeshaia van Leeuwen (and their father Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen) and Alex and Jonah Wolfberg (and their mother Jennifer Wolfberg). He is also survived by siblings Theodore and Saundra Wolfberg, Jacqueline Smith, and six nieces and nephews. George was 81 and, thanks to hospice, died peacefully at home on February 5, 2020. He was an All-City swimmer at Los Angeles High School, received a BS from UCLA in 1961 and an MPA from USC in 1971, and served in the Air National Guard (1961-1967). He was a Daily Bruin staff writer and staunch supporter of Bruin athletics, notably basketball and women's and men's soccer. He covered defense for the official statistics team at the Rose Bowl (1989-2018). He met regularly with his Pi Lam fraternity brothers. George's career was with the Los Angeles City Administrative Office. At his retirement in 1996, he was a Chief Administrative Analyst, well known by mayors and city council members going back nearly 60 years. His college roommate, longtime City Councilman Joel Wachs, said: "In City Hall, George was a rock of integrity and a font of knowledge, which I and others who cared about our city always relied upon." George considered one of his career highlights to be the creation and oversight of the City's policy to bring pressure upon South Africa to end apartheid, for which Nelson Mandela came to Los Angeles to specifically give thanks. George co-wrote the City's 1984 Olympics bid and served as liaison between the City and the LA Olympics Organizing Committee. In writing the bid, he added a commitment to present women's cycling for the first time in Olympics history. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will feature eleven women's cycling events. George worked for years to secure the 1994 Soccer World Cup for Los Angeles. He served on both the LA City and LA County Bicycle Advisory Committees, about 25 years apart. After retiring, George was recruited by Raphael Sonenshein to the Los Angeles Appointed Charter Reform Commission, which resulted in the first successful, comprehensive update to the City's 1925 charter. The new Charter enacted the creation of a citywide system of neighborhood councils. George served on the boards of both the Pacific Palisades Community Council (16 years) and the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association (over 20 years). He worked to preserve and create public park lands. On the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee, he advocated for greater public access to beaches via this future City park. George worked closely with Councilmember Mike Bonin's office. Bonin said: "George has led and served with fierce determination, great warmth, big goals, and a smart and specific vision to achieve those goals. He has been a friend, mentor and inspiration." Bonin's Deputy Lisa Cahill said: "George worked to ensure that the committee's recommendations were heard by all the City departments, helping to hold them accountable. He advocated for his fellow Palisadians, while never wavering that this will be a park for all Angelenos." He worked to restore the historic Uplifters Ranch eucalyptus grove. In August 2019, even while in the ICU, he was texting and emailing key City staff and officials to advocate for community needs. George was a driving force in AYSO Region 69 as coach, referee, Registrar, and board member for 45 years. He was still refereeing soccer games for teens the summer before his death. A final impact George made was to elevate the need for a comprehensive urban forest plan and creation of the City's first Forest Officer, a cornerstone to what's being called L.A.'s New Green Deal with a goal to plant 90,000 trees by 2021. An avid chef who could create international feasts, he was also a ceramic artist and Malibu Surfrider Beach longboard surfer in the 1960s and 1970s. Funeral services were held on February 7 at Home of Peace Memorial Park. George can be remembered through donations to Planned Parenthood.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Feb. 8 to Feb. 13, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Home of Peace Memorial Park & Mortuary
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4 entries
February 20, 2020
Anya McCann
February 14, 2020
George was the go-to guy when you had a problem. He's irreplaceable. So many communities, local and international, have benefited from his knowledge, expertise but most of all his dedication. He made me the AYSO Head coach(A WOMAN) and then commissioner. I couldn't have done it without his guidance.

His family and I will miss him. He made our lives so enriched....not to mention his cooking!
Suzanne Roberts
February 14, 2020
That smile. Who could ever forget that smile? When it was full steam ahead, it literally reached from ear to ear. Besides being a great leader, George was a mentor to so many. He encouraged people to get involved in their communities and stay involved. He always remembered what you were interested in and what "your issues" were. He offered advice and a helping hand. He was a remarkable human being and I will miss his generous spirit. The world is quite a bit darker without him in it.
Nancy Klopper
February 13, 2020
i will miss my grandfather dearly. theres a lot to be said for having someone in your life who you know you can always count on. someone who doesnt need to say i love you because they show it through their actions. i feel so lucky to have had a grandparent who was so present in my life. he picked us up from school weekly my entire k-12 years. i have fond memories of the last time we saw each other before he got sick. he dragged me out of bed during a rough time to go see the poppy super bloom. we were both angry at the people walking off trail to take selfies. i learned so much from george about how to be a responsible member of a community and i catch myself doing little things i learned from him almost every day. truly a role model and example for what i can hope make of myself. someone who got where he did through his honesty, work ethic, and commitment to his values, and who walked with humility, rarely taking credit for his achievements and good deeds. i have been honoring him daily by listening to his favorite band, the eagles. i love him so much and miss him every day. i think what i will miss most is watching his face light up with joy when we saw each other and the melody in his voice when he would greet me with my name. his little smiles of reassurance and approval meant so much. i love you poppa.
avital van
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