Ivan Cole

July 7, 1919 – Feb. 25, 2011

A dear friend and supporter of Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga has been lost. Ivan Cole and his wife Roberta have been steadfast patrons of SHPOA, S/T Poet Laureate program, and the S/T Neighborhood Council through the years. They supported Bolton Hall since the 90s by taking part in the programs and fund raisers. When repairs and painting needed to be done at Bolton Hall, Ivan was there with paintbrush in hand. For many years Ivan shared his wide knowledge of plants at local plant sales.

Ivan was never known to have said an unkind word to anyone. The tall soft spoken Englishman was born in New Bridge, Wales. His father died when Ivan was young and so he went to work at the naval port as a teenager where an older friend taught him to operate the large port cranes. Not too long before WWII commenced he joined the British Navy. While in boot camp, volunteers were requested for an unknown mission. This was in May of 1940 and he and his fellow cadets soon found themselves at sea in an old tug boat towing a string of cruise ship life boats behind their tug on their way to the beaches of Dunkirk where 338,226 English and French troops would be rescued off the beaches between May 26 and the early hours of June 3. After graduation from the Naval boot camp Ivan volunteered for duty on a mine sweeper patrolling the English Channel from the Scottish Isles in the North Sea to the southern tip of England looking for German mines. In May of 1941 Ivan acted as a special carrier for the British Admiralty to deliver a secret message to the British battleship, the Hood, warning them that the new German battleship, the Bismarck, was headed for them in the North Sea. The older battleship Hood was outgunned with its lighter armor and was sunk.

Ivan came to America after the war and joined his brother who operated a nursery specializing in tropical plants in the San Fernando Valley. Later he went to work for the Burkhart Nursery. While working at the nursery the owner of Rockhaven Sanitarium offered Ivan a full time job managing the large gardens on the 3.3 acre site. Ivan took care of the gardens for 34 years, retiring in 1997. Ivan had thrown his full support to save Rockhaven from the wrecking ball and working with the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, convincing the city of Glendale to buy and preserve the site. Ivan and Roberta have been married for over 50 years.

Ivan will be missed but not forgotten.

Memorial donations can be made in Ivan’s memory to the Little Landers Historical Society, Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, or Park & Open Space.

Call Lloyd Hitt at Bolton Hall for information.


Paula C. Gaskins

Paula C. Gaskins, 73, passed away Thursday, March 10 in La Crescenta following a courageous 13 year battle with breast cancer.

Born Paula Ann Sutton in Waterloo, Iowa to Ivan J. Sutton and Pauline A. Paul, she was raised in Kansas and graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in 1955. At Kansas University, she was an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She married in her junior year and graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. In 1962, she moved to Southern California where she raised three children.

“PC”, as colleagues knew her, enjoyed a long career as a writer and advertising executive at Gaskins Creative Communications in Glendale before retiring in 1999. Known for her witty intellect and giving spirit, Paula was an avid reader and world traveler who loved her many friends and cherished time spent with her family.

Paula is survived by daughters Brit Davis and Amoret Kaufman of

La Crescenta; son John Gaskins of Kihei, Hawaii; and six grandchildren: Alycia, Zakary, Nicholas, Bennett, Henry and Spencer. She is preceded in death by husband Stanley L. Gaskins (1998), son Christopher Cross (2004) and son Gregory Gaskins (2006).

A memorial service to celebrate Paula’s life will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 1 p.m. at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, 2902 Montrose Ave. in La Crescenta. A reception will follow downstairs in Koopmans Hall. A private graveside service will be held on Friday, March 18 at Forest Lawn Glendale.

In lieu of flowers, Paula hoped memorial contributions might be made to Norris Cancer Center, 1441 Eastlake Ave., Los Angeles.