• Pat Gylfe

    Participating For: 13 Years, 11 Months

    Biography:
    I have always had an interest in things "western", so when I had the opportunity to become a docent at the Leonis Adobe, it was a natural for me. I was born an easterner in Ohio, but at 11 years moved to Hollywood, graduated from Hollywood High, UCLA and CSUN with a teaching credential. Now, after 20 years of teaching Kindergarten and 4th grade and 50 happy years of marriage filled with traveling, skiing adventures and many sailboats, I've moved to the next phase. I live in Calabasas, "the "last of the old west" and am happily involved in the 1880's events at the Adobe--right where I belong.
  • Connie Danihels

    Participating For: 13 Years

    Biography:
    Hi everyone my name is Connie Danihels and I am a California Native. I love this beautiful, golden state, where I have grown and raised my two beautiful girls alongside my California native husband. With close to thirty years of marriage, we have lived in Old Agoura which is a great equestrian area surrounded by trails and grassy hills. With horses and both vegetables and fruits growing in our backyard, I can relate to living a lifestyle similar to what I teach. Being a docent at the Leonis Adobe has been like my second home. Teaching and working with the groups of children is always a rewarding and heartwarming experience. Sharing the traditions of the Leonis Family and explaining how life was for them is a humbling and enlightening adventure every tour I give.
  • Jim Stehlik

    Participating For: 13 Years

    Biography:
    Jim Stehlik married his high school sweetheart Charlotte in 1963.  Together they raised three wonderful children, and now have three lovely grandchildren as well.  Jim grew up in Van Nuys and has been in the San Fernando Valley his entire life.  

    Jim came to work at the Adobe over ten years ago as a vaquero (cowboy).  While the Adobe has undergone many changes to its school tour program, Jim has remained a faithful and outstanding employee throughout the years.

    Before coming to the Leonis Adobe, Jim spent 28 years working out of Northridge for UPS.  After leaving UPS, Jim owned and operated a coin laundry in Northridge for four years.
  • Harriett Rozanski

    Participating For: 12 Years, 1 Months

    Biography:
    I was born & educated in White Plains, New York. My husband, our infant daughter and I moved to California the same year the Brooklyn Dodgers did, in 1958. We lived in the San Fernando Valley and for the last twenty-six years we have lived in Calabasas. I first came to the Leonis Adobe Museum as a chaperone with my granddaughters third grade class. A couple of years later, I saw an ad in the local newspaper for a docent position at the Adobe. For the past eight years I have enjoyed giving tours to school children who come to the museum for our educational program. I retired from the Sears Accounting Department and then became a bookkeeper for the Malibu Superior Court, finally retiring in 2002. My husband John and I will be married fifty-eight years this August, we have three children, two daughters, both teachers and a son in the medical field. We have four granddaughters & three grandsons. Four of the grandchildren have already graduated from college, a granddaughter has completed her masters degree & a grandson is going to Law School. Our two youngest granddaughters are still in college and the youngest grandson is in high school. In September of 2014 our oldest grandson is getting married and in October 2014 our second granddaughter is getting married. The oldest granddaughters was married in 2012, she just had her first daughter in April, 2014, making me a great grandma
  • Paula Russo

    Participating For: 11 Years, 8 Months

    Biography:
    Paula began working at the Leonis Adobe Museum as a docent in April 2006. She was recruited by her dear friend Barbara Unruh, also a docent at the museum. Paula served on the Board of Directors for the Woodland Hills branch of the Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library. Although she no longer serves on their Board, Paula continues to volunteer her time at the library. Her love of history and cheerful demeanor make Paula an excellent docent. In addition to docenting, Paula also helps out on various projects around the Adobe. Before joining the Leonis Adobe Museum, Paula worked at a variety of jobs, including 25 years at JC Penney's, before retiring. In her free time, Paula likes to sew, make crafts, read, spend time with her granddaughters, and travel. Having traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, Paula's two favorite destinations are England and Ireland. The Leonis Adobe Museum Staff and Board of Directors are delighted to have someone as charming as Paula as a vital part of our team.
  • Juanita Charles

    Participating For: 11 Years, 2 Months

    Biography:
    I was born in the city of Los Angeles an attended schools there which included UCLA. I married and we settled in Woodland Hills in the 1950's to raise our family in the country life. We had four daughters who gave us six grandchildren. With all the girls, I got involved in Girl Scouts for over 40 years. Once all of the girls were married I took a job as an office manager for an electric company learning a lot about alternators, starters and everything you need to know about running a company. We also began to travel more in the USA and abroad. My husband passed away in 1995, but we had almost 50 years of a great married life. When I'm not working at the Leonis Adobe I spend my time in the garden, collecting stamps and working on my genealogy.
  • Janice Swain

    Participating For: 10 Years, 6 Months

    Biography:
    After working for LAUSD as a Cafeteria Training Specialist for 27 years, Jan Swain decided that it was time to retire.  Six months later, Jan was ready to get back to work.  At the urging of her good friend Charlotte Stehlik, Jan became a docent at the Leonis Adobe Museum.  Born and raised in Southern California, Jan enjoys helping to preserve the history of the area.

    Jan is married to her husband Howard.  Together they raised two wonderful children and now have four grandchildren.  In her spare time, Jan enjoys travelling and dedicating her time to a philanthropic sorority which raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Diane Tschekaloff

    Participating For: 9 Years, 4 Months

    Biography:
    For half of my 28 year tenure as a Superior Court Clerk, I lived on a small Malibu ranch with horses and other domestic animals. Since I love animals, my objective upon retirement was to sell my current Calabasas house and buy a 5 acre ranch. However, I discovered Leonis Adobe Museum and found it meets all my immediate needs and allows me to pursue other passions like globe trotting. After I obtained a B.A. with a double major of history and geography, my husband accepted a job offer in Munich, Germany. There I worked for Military Intelligence as a secretary and teacher of typing and shorthand. As a federal employee I took advantage of one of their university programs and earned a Master's in Counseling from Boston University. Other jobs I've had: secretary for a missile and space firm and for a law office, a policewoman for Los Angeles Police Department and supervisor with the Department of Public Social Services of Los Angeles County.
  • Dinna Pitt

    Participating For: 9 Years

    Biography:
    Dinna became a museum guide quite by chance.  In 2008, she visited the Leonis Adobe Museum for research on California adobe structures while attending a graduate program in architecture and design at UCLA.  After meeting docents, Pat Gylfe and Pat Hungerford, Dinna was asked if she was interested in becoming a museum guide.  Due to a busy academic schedule, she initially declined.  However, both Pats were wonderfully persuasive, according to Dinna.  She became a museum guide shortly after her first visit.  Dinna received her B.A. in Classical Civilization from UCLA and received her M.A. in History from CSUN, where she graduated with distinction and was the 2015 recipient of the Best Graduate Paper Award.  Her areas of interest are California history and ancient history and she is an active member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society as well as the Los Angeles Conservancy.

    She enjoys giving school tours at the Leonis Adobe Museum immensely. For Dinna, it's a wonderful place to experience living history. She believes kids bring fresh perspectives and curious minds so they keep her on her toes!

    Dinna and her husband are passionate about animals and are very involved in animal rescue, particularly in the rescue and rehoming of retired military and law enforcement dogs. Dinna and her husband are also avid travelers, having visited almost 40 countries to date.
  • Kathy Kirby

    Participating For: 8 Years, 10 Months

    Biography:
    Kathy was born in Budapest Hungary but has lived in the San Fernando Valley since she was six years old. She has always been interested in history and taught Western Civilization at Loyola Marymount University (her alma mater) for a number of years. When her daughter left home for college Kathy wanted to find something worthwhile and enjoyable to occupy her time. She enjoys being a museum guide and spending time at the Adobe.
  • Beverly Angarella

    Participating For: 7 Years, 7 Months

    Biography:
    I came to Los Angeles from Ohio at age three and grew up in Beverly Hills where I attended school from kindergarten through high school. I met Diane Tschekaloff in high school and we became lifelong friends. I attended UCLA and graduated with a teaching credential and taught elementary, middle school and high school at various times. I took six years off and had my two children, Gina and Chris. After raising my children I returned to school to obtain my real estate license and then worked in real estate 8 years. Since I enjoyed teaching more than real estate I enrolled at Cal State Northridge to work on a special education credential. I then taught special education classes at Birmingham High School for twelve years and served as department chair for five years. When I retired I took up golf and bowling and devoted many happy hours to gardening, but I felt that I needed to get back to working with children. I joined my friend, Diane T., at Leonis Adobe as a museum guide, which I really enjoy. My latest role has been the joy of being a grandma to little Claire. My life is pretty full of things to do....all of which are fun!
  • Bonnie Higa

    Participating For: 7 Years, 4 Months

    Biography:
    Bonnie is a native Californian, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and a graduate of Cal State Northridge. She currently resides in Calabasas with her husband of 22 years and her two beautiful daughters. She has been a Girl Scout leader for 14 years and has mentored 13 Gold Award Recipients (the Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn). Bonnie works in residential escrow and has been conducting school tours at the Adobe for over five years. She enjoys, photography, movies, dancing and gardening.
  • Donna Garrett

    Participating For: 6 Years, 6 Months

    Biography:
    I was born in Orange County, California and moved to the San Fernando Valley when I was 4 years old. I went to Van Nuys grammar school, Van Nuys Junior High and High School. I went to CSUN for 3 years. At 21 years of age I started a career working in the motion picture business as a stuntwoman. I doubled for different actress's such as Raquel Welch, Jaquilene Bissett and many more. I succeeded in working as a stuntwoman and double for 30 years and retired in 1997. I travel frequently to all parts of the world and enjoy working as a Museum Guide at the Leonis Adobe.
  • Susan Granich

    Participating For: 6 Years, 6 Months

    Biography:
    Hi! My name is Susan Granich and I am a native of Los Angeles. I grew up in West Los Angeles and graduated from Hamilton High School. I am a graduate of the University of Southern California, and I also earned my elementary teaching credential there. I have lived in the west San Fernando Valley for about 30 years with my husband Fred, and we raised our three children there as well. I taught for L.A. City Schools for many years. For the last twenty years of my career I worked in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. After retiring from teaching, I have enjoyed swimming for fun and exercise, tutoring troubled teenagers, and being a docent here at the Leonis Adobe. I love learning about the history of Los Angeles, and making it come alive to enrich children as well as adults.
  • Tomo Stephens

    Participating For: 5 Years, 8 Months

    Biography:
    I was born in Japan, but spent my school years in Hollywood, Ca. I have three lovely children and six grandchildren. After I retired from work I lived in Costa Rica doing volunteer work with animals. I now live in Calabasas and am very happy working at the Leonis Adobe Museum as I get to interact with two of my favorite things, children and animals.
  • Terry Strimpel

    Participating For: 5 Years, 8 Months

    Biography:
    Terry Strimple is a retired Registered Nurse, that retired after 35 years of nursing. Originally, raised on the north side of Chicago, in the historic "Old Town Triangle",she attended St Michael's High School. Raised with "Midwest values" and a deep appreciation for art, nature, science and history. Over 50 years ago her family traded the cold "wind chill factor" of Chicago for "sunny" southern California. Terry and her spouse, a California native have been married over 30 plus years, with a son, daughter-in-law and four wonderful grand- children. Terry's interests include, history, nature, gardening, arts, textile crafts, cooking, family, and friends. Sharing the past, being a Museum Guide at the Leonis Adobe, and interacting with guests of all ages, has become one of the most enjoyable parts of my life.
  • Sally Fick

    Participating For: 5 Years, 1 Months

    Biography:
    Sally M. Fick was born in Evanston, IL. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was in elementary school. She graduated from Hollywood High School. At age 17 she began working for Occidental Life Insurance Co., Max Factor and Co., then joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power where she was promoted 19 times in 34 years. During this time, she attended Pepperdine University, at night, receiving an advanced degree in Business Administration and Management. Over the years, she managed clerical and administrative employees. Her last position was Chief Administrator of the Financial Services Organization responsible for budget, cost control, personnel, training, records and space management, creating correspondence and reports. Upon retiring in May 2000, Sally has devoted her time to charitable endeavors. She has been a Docent at the J. Paul Getty Museum for 14 years. She is a member of the Volunteer League of the San Fernando Valley for 14 years serving as Treasurer and Development Chairman. She sings with their Choral Music Group who perform in Assisted Living and Nursing Homes. She was Chairman of the Group and Scheduler. She is President of The Old Treasures Club, Inc. She was past President of the Tarzana Lions Club and Treasurer, Zone and Region Chairman. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is a Notary Public for the State of California. Sally is married to her husband, Jeff, and has one Daughter and two grandchildren who attend college. She enjoys traveling, gardening, music and learning. She loves people and educating the children at the Leonis Adobe Museum.
  • Mary Karchem

    Participating For: 4 Years, 6 Months

    Biography:
    When I was born, my family lived in a 3 room log cabin on a creek in southern Missouri with no electricity or indoor plumbing. So I feel quite at home at the Leonis Ranch and truly love sharing the journey back in time with the school children and guests. I am now a grandmother of 7 and retired from a customer service career with Southern California Gas Company. The opportunity to be a part of this amazing historical treasure, the wonderful staff and the Calabasas community has been a gift that just keeps on giving.
  • Lenny Berg

    Participating For: 4 Years, 4 Months

    Biography:
    I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I received my B.S. from CSUN with a degree in health science. I am married with two children who are both newly married. I worked in the retail clothing industry which took me to Colorado for ten years. After moving back I worked in the entertainment industry for several years. Once retired, I was searching for some kind of community involvement that would reflect my interests. I enjoy meeting new people and working with children. At an early age I became passionate about cowboys and their place in history. After my wife took her first grade class on a field trip to the Leonis Adobe Museum, she told me she found the perfect place for me. I followed her suggestion and am so happy to have the opportunity to be a Museum Guide.
  • Andrew Brand

    Participating For: 3 Years, 10 Months

    Biography:
    Being  raised on a cattle and turkey ranch in Los Angeles County gave Andy an early appreciation of agriculture.  Family tours of California Missions and Old West towns exposed him to our rich California history. 

    Andy spent 35 years in the dairy industry, first by servicing local dairy farms for Quality Control and Laboratory services.  Primary services were later provided for New Mexico and Texas dairy farms with pioneering regional dairy laboratories that Andy designed, operated, and staffed. 

    In retirement Andy is attentive to the families and careers of his five children.  His pursuits include self improvement, music, and study of the sciences.  He lives in Calabasas raising teenage grandchildren.
  • Paula Stromquist

    Participating For: 3 Years, 5 Months

    Biography:
    I am a native Angeleno who grew up in Silverlake and attended public schools until graduation from John Marshall High School.  After earning a BA from UCLA and an MA and teaching credentials from CSULA, I spent 36 years teaching 4th grade and special education with the Oak Park Unified School District.  The history of California including Rancho Life is right up my alley!

    Retirement has afforded my husband and me more time to pursue our many interests:  Culinary pursuits, dining out (Love discovering LA's many ethnic cuisines), reading, music-all kinds, attending plays and concerts, travel, shopping, and trivia games.  I have been in the same women's poker group (OK, more eating and visiting than poker) for over 20 years.  I love dogs, especially Golden Retrievers!  

    Being a life-long learner is a personal goal.  Toward that end, I've recently taken classes in philosophy, financial planning, and opera.  I'm hoping to brush-up on French and Spanish and learn Italian and Mandarin (So I can, at the very least, know what I'm ordering in a restaurant).

    I'm a huge advocate for returning the instruction of Music and Art to prominence in the curriculum of K-12 public schools.  I also have a special interest in the education of girls, especially in developing countries.

    I'm delighted to be a docent at the Leonis Adobe where I can share my love of California history!
  • Maya Debus

    Participating For: 2 Years, 2 Months

    Biography:
    Maya is a California native and has loved California history ever since learning about the missions in the fourth grade. She loves antiques and learning about people and how they lived in years gone by. She collects vintage hats and vintage purses and has an extensive collection of antique hand-painted china. She also loves going to the theater, riding motorcycles and dancing.
  • James Severtson

    Participating For: 1 Year, 9 Months

    Biography:
    I was born in California over seven decades ago, and from my earliest days in the public schools here was fascinated by our history. I was attracted to working at the Leonis Adobe Museum because this part of our history was so close to us here in the Valley, and it is the actual physical connection to that past.

    My education was in fine art, and it led to careers in technical art working with prominent architects in developing illustrations and proposals for fundraising and permitting.

    With the advent of computers, my artistic abilities, which I learned the old way on a drafting table, suddenly became obsolete. It led to my second career in retail management.

    Because of my experience and volunteer work at our children's high school the principal asked me to consider teaching business at Monroe HS. After two years of teaching I moved to Granada Hills CHS; I taught a total of fourteen years.

    I retired last year, and am involved in the retired teachers association, play cello in our church choir, continue with my loves of painting, gardening, and reading. My wife and I have four children and six grandchildren. I am thrilled to be working with the groups of school children who come to our Museum and continue teaching the history and culture of our state.
  • Marla Allen

    Participating For: 1 Year, 7 Months

    Biography:
    Marla is a native of California. Growing up in the west end of the San Fernando Valley, she has spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District where she wore different hats both inside and outside of the classroom. Marla has raised triplet daughters that also share a love for the "Golden State" along with its history. She is pleased to be a part of the Leonis Adobe team.
  • Marty Valle

    Participating For: 1 Year, 7 Months

    Biography:
    I am a lover of history, learning new and unusual facts as well as sharing knowledge.

    I feel at home here at the Leonis Adobe Museum as the history here was also a part of my culture. You see, I was fortunate to know my Great-grandmother who introduced me to live history! She lived in a mud house with dirt floors, slept on wooden jute strung beds and used an outhouse. She also had an outside kitchen with a mud stove, terracotta pots, gourd cups and a metal tripod for cooking. We ate handmade tortillas and used hand woven baskets. She wore the long skirts and had long jet black hair, which was pinned with an old comb. I was lucky, indeed!

    My first visit to the Leonis Adobe happened many-a-moons ago, when I was a new resident to the San Fernando Valley and I was also part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Now, I am a wife, a mother of three and a student of continuous learning. I am blessed with curious, creative children and a husband who is willing to go along for the ride!
  • Jennifer Ream-Phillips

    Participating For: 1 Year, 7 Months

    Biography:
    Jennifer was born in Western Pennsylvania where she spent much of her youth enjoying time on her grandfather's farm. She moved to California in 2012 where she obtained her real estate license. Jennifer spends the majority of her time with her husband and son enjoying all of the beauty the state of California has to offer.
  • Colie Shoshanna

    Participating For: 11 Months

    Biography:
    I come to Leonis Adobe from West LA though born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. I earned my Bachelors of Arts degree from CSUN in 2014 and have held various positions in the community helping others. Currently, I live in Westwood with my two cats, Flurry and Gravy. Some things I enjoy are weaving, writing and occasionally singing back up in band. My interest in the history of California/Los Angeles/The Valley has brought me to the Leonis Adobe Museum and I’m very excited to be here!
  • Leanne Santoyo

    Participating For: 11 Months

    Biography:
    I am a native southern Californian, born and raised on the westside of Los Angeles. I attended CSUN where I earned my B.A in Political Science. I currently reside in the west end of the San Fernando valley with my husband and two children. Since having both Native American and Hispanic heritage, learning about the rich history of the Leonis Adobe museum, right in our backyards made me want to be a part of it all and share it with all who come to the ranch!
  • Abraham Barkhordar

    Participating For: 6 Months

    Biography:
    Hi! I was born and raised in Calabasas and grew up in the area. Since I was a child, I've had a great interest in history and our place in it. As a child, I also visited the adobe and that helped inspire my interests today. I'm currently studying to be a museum curator and hope to turn my love into a career. I'm really excited to have this opportunity at the adobe and look forward to helping educate a new generation of little history buffs!