Passages: Sierra Club leader Phil Dorner

Thursday, April 17, 2014
David Haake

Longtime Sierra Club leader Philip Henderson Dorner died on Aug. 16, 2013. He was 90 years old.

Phil was one half of the dynamic duo, consisting of himself and Ed Lubin, who led the Sierra Club’s hike in the Pacific Palisades every Friday evening for 20 to 25 years. A wonderful memorial was held for Phil on a particularly beautiful Sunday last September in Palisades Park near his home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica. Many of those who had hiked with Phil on Friday evenings attended the memorial and spoke glowingly of how much they enjoyed spending time with Phil.

They recalled riding with him in his car from the carpool meeting point on Los Liones Drive to the trailhead on Paseo Miramar, listening to sounds of classical music, which seemed to characterize his kindness and the warmth of his personality. His co-leader, Lubin, recalls that although Phil was low key and didn’t draw attention to himself, it was remarkable how smoothly things went on the hike when Phil was there. “Phil was incredibly reliable, missing very few hikes over the 20-25 years that we led the hike together.”

Phil was recognized in 2003 and 2008 with Outings Service Awards from the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Dorner was born in Los Angeles on December 23, 1923, to Philip and Francis Dorner. His father was a stockbroker and his mother performed with the local Assistance League community theater. Philip graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1940 and attended USC. After graduating, he landed a job as a writer and editor for the Valley Times. He worked there from 1954 until September 10, 1957 at which time he wrote “This is your reporter’s last column, having decided to return to his first love, the securities business.”

At the same time he met and married Marguerite Dobson and settled down in Granada Hills where they raised their family. Later they moved to Woodland Hills and eventually on to Santa Monica. He devotedly worked as a financial advisor/stockbroker at Crowell Weedon until 2008, retiring at the age of 85. He still maintained a deep interest in the financial markets, continuing to research and give advice to friends and family on good investments up to the very end.

Philip’s interests included hiking, backpacking, reading financial news and journals, investing in the stock market and studying the Bible, as well as other spiritual material. He also enjoyed attending the opera and theater with his dear companion Jane Page. Phil was a kind gentleman that generously supported many charties and causes. He lived a very healthy lifestyle and was grateful to be living in Santa Monica overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

He is survived by his daughter Debbie Dorner-Reynolds of San Marcos, Calif., and his granddaughter Sharlene Reynolds of Escondido. He is also survived by his nieces and nephew; Joann, Paddy, Janet and Andrew Kean.

David Haake, Chair, West Los Angeles Group, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club.


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