Village Poets Honor Lloyd and Marlene Hitt

In recent years, Lloyd and Marlene Hitt have been recognized by Sunland-Tujunga, as well as the county and congressional districts, for their dauntless work of establishing historic monuments and building the organizations that would be the legacy of Sunland-Tujunga. On Sunday, July 28, the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga, a local poetry group, will host a celebration of the couple’s many contributions and dedication to building a vibrant poetry community in Sunland-Tujunga. The couple is retiring from their duties and responsibilities as members of the Village Poets. They are also stepping down as docents with the Little Landers Historical Society. The free event begins at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum and is open to all visitors who wish to share in the festivities.

On July 28, the Hitts’ poetry will be the featured presentation. Marlene will read her compositions and Lloyd’s work will be presented by proxy. Guests are encouraged to take the microphone for a few minutes to share a fond recollection of the honorees or recite their favorite poem to venerate the couple whose goal has been to awaken the literary spirit of Sunland-Tujunga.

The Hober family with daughter Marlene moved to the area in 1939 and established Hober’s Pharmacy where young Lloyd Hitt took a job and remained for 50 years. In the beginning, the relationship of Marlene and Lloyd was based more on teasing each other as their ages dictated but, 10 years later, familiarity and common interests caused a romance to grow and bloom into marriage. In 1956 the two were wed. Lloyd had a long and respected career as a pharmacist, and Marlene was equally engaged as an adored preschool teacher at the Baptist church.

Lloyd and Marlene were educated at USC and Occidental College respectively, and neither one was able to grasp the meaning of the word “retirement.” It seems they both participated in and accomplished more since they set their careers aside than many do in a lifetime. Lloyd was a founding member of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and was instrumental in writing its first set of bylaws. He also helped to establish the Land Use Committee that created a forum that allowed anyone to monitor neighborhood development and air grievances for redress.  He is most known for championing the Historic Preservation Overlay Zones that would include Pasko Park where the cross of San Ysidro stands, Verdugo Cemetery, the Stonehurst neighborhood and recreation center, which are now historic river rock structures. Lloyd worked tirelessly with the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition to produce “Only the Oaks Remain,” the traveling museum exhibit that chronicled the memoirs of living detainees and depicting the history of Tuna Canyon Detention Station that stood on the site of Verdugo Hills Golf Course and operated during the first two years of the U.S. involvement in WWII. Nearest to his heart, Lloyd served 11 years as president of Bolton Hall Museum and Little Landers Historical Society where he worked to keep the museum maintained, funded and free for the public to use as a community meeting space.

Following retirement, Marlene continued to expand her creative writing skills and expertise as a historian. She has published several books of poetry including her most recent “Clocks and Water Drops” (Moonrise Press, 2015).  She has been a regular contributor to and columnist for more than half a dozen local newspapers and is the proud author of “Sunland Tujunga: from Village to City” (Arcadia Publishing, 2002), which is now in its third printing. In recent years she served as docent director, museum director and archivist for Bolton Hall Museum. Marlene revels that she is known as the “career volunteer.” 

In 1999, members of Chupa Rosa writers, California Federation of Chaparral Poets and the McGroarty Arts Center elected her to her most formative role, that of Sunland Tujunga poet laureate where she served with distinction as an advocate and ambassador for the literary arts. As the inaugural laureate, she helped establish the guidelines for the program that is now in its 20th year. Village Poets grew as a support network for past and present laureates.  It provides a workshop and showcase for writers to explore and extend the boundaries of their creativity. Marlene’s regular presence will be sorely missed.

As they look toward celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary, spending more time with each other and bouncing great grandchildren on their knees, Lloyd and Marlene Hitt understand their legacy is more than the historic plaques or volumes of writing they produced, but the standard of soul affirming volunteerism they typify that will be the model for community growth for years to come. 

Village Poets is a free public event. For more information, visit or

Bolton Hall Museum is located at 10110 Commerce Ave. in Tujunga.

Submitted by Joe DeCENZO