AHA? Uh-huh! AH Designates a New Altadena Heritage Area

Linda World passed away on June 1st. She was immediate past Chair of the Board of Altadena Heritage and many of you knew her. We announced her death in our July e-news, but as Linda was also a “print” journalist — and the most trusted and thorough proofreader of this newsletter — we want to honor her memory in these pages, too. She labored over them conscientiously for years, we had many a discussion over commas and semi-colons, and she truly loved and took pride in its publication — the most in-depth coverage of Altadena’s important issues available. She worked closely with Debbie Collins of Ms Dragon Print and Copy to get newsletters printed and mailed, and we called this newsletter (with irony) “Altadena’s paper of record,” because of the paucity of media coverage of our town. 

Linda was the kind of person anyone would want on the team — when a job needed doing, she stepped up. A member and volunteer since 2006, in 2014 she joined Altadena Heritage’s Board after retiring as Senior Editor for the IEEE Computer Society, where she formerly had been founding managing editor of IEEE Internet Computing (1997-2001.) The year she joined our board, she led the committee attaining the years-long goal of migrating our organization’s architectural database from its outdated platform to a stable, user-friendly one.

Linda continued her work on the Altadena Heritage Architectural Database (AHAD) throughout her time on the board, and beyond. Her husband Martin Zacks also served a few years on the board (at her prodding!), including time as treasurer — and so her entire household was devoted to Altadena Heritage’s work.

Linda served as Vice-Chair of the Board in 2015, Chair in 2016 and 2017, and Secretary in 2018 and 2019. She stepped up as Chair at a crucial time, when no one else was angling for the job and new leadership was needed. The life of an all-volunteer non-profit requires such heroes to survive.

During her tenure as chair, AH led fundraising and design efforts on the re-do of Altadena Triangle Park, and participated on the small committee with reps from the Town Council and Chamber of Commerce that designed the Welcome to Altadena monument and pole signs.

She was also a writer, and in the science issue (November 2014), she worked with long-time, beloved board member Richard Davies to write a great article: Settling In After World War II. Michele Zack relates that “She had a special bond with Richard, and mentioned to me several times that with [husband] Martin on one side of her, and Richard on the other at board meetings, she somehow got through them as chair!”

Linda was born July 31, 1948, in Twin Falls Idaho. She went to Whitman College in Walla Walla Washington, and was a technical editor for Boeing in Seattle for seven years before moving to Los Angeles and working 20 years for the IEEE Computer Society. She and Martin were married for 33 years, and lived together happily for 40. They moved to Altadena 20 years ago. Both played in the Intercity Co-Ed Softball League of Southern California. She was a great batter, but retired due to injury in 2018. She and Martin could be found Monday mornings, playing at Farnsworth Park.

Linda had a daughter, Heather, from a previous marriage, married to Dan Lanir, and two grandchildren Ben (currently at UCLA) and Cecilia, still in high school and living with her parents in San Francisco. The family and near and far flung friends gathered in Altadena for a beautiful memorial on June 23. Several Altadena Heritage Board members attended and shared memories of Linda’s wonderful sense of humor, her no-nonsense attitude, and her service to our community.

We will miss Linda, whose death saddened us all, and surprised us — perhaps because she never seemed old.