[April 26, 2016] — Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich celebrated Doreetha Daniels (born April 25, 1916) on the occasion of her 100th birthday during the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.
"This is a very, very important role model," said Antonovich. "Today we're celebrating her 100th anniversary — but that's not only why we are giving her this recognition. At the age of 99, she graduated with her Associate of Arts degree from the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita — the oldest person to receive a degree from the college. As a former teacher, I really admire that. She is a model citizen, highly engaged in the community and committed to fulfilling personal, as well as academic goals."
Longtime Agua Dulce resident Doreetha Daniels marched into the history books Friday, June 5, 2015, when at age 99 she became the oldest person ever to graduate from College of the Canyons.
The United States had not yet entered World War I when Doreetha was born in Hastings, Neb., on Saturday, April 25, 1916.
Doreetha completed high school there in 1934 and came to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming a nurse. But there were no nursing jobs available for out-of-state residents, so she found a job in the parts supply department of aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas.
At church, she met the man who would become her husband, Robert Daniels. They had two sons, Robert Jr. and Raymond.
When they discovered that one of their sons suffered from asthma, they searched for a warmer climate and packed their bags for Agua Dulce.
The year was 1947. They had not yet finished building their home when they arrived, so they lived in a tent for a year or so. Robert drove to work in Santa Monica via old Highway 6 (Sierra Highway), there being no 14 or 5 freeways at the time.
The boys attended school in Acton. Robert Jr. graduated from Acton School (as class president) in 1952. Raymond graduated in 1955. Robert Jr. became an engineer, Raymond an attorney.
Doreetha immersed herself in the community from the get-go. She was one of the founding members of the Agua Dulce Women's Club (originally called the Mothers Club) when it organized Sept. 23, 1948, and she helped establish the clubhouse at 33201 Agua Dulce Canyon Road.
Doreetha served as president of the Women's Club in 1978. She also participated in the Agua Dulce Civic Association and served three years as president of the Agua Dulce Seniors Club.
In 1988, after 50 years of marriage, Robert Sr. died.
Doreetha then started traveling the world, often with son Raymond. When at home, she practiced fine art and candy-making. She also volunteered with the AARP driver safety course, 55 Alive; and she volunteered every other week at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia.
In 1989 and again in 2006, Doreetha and her family were named Agua Dulce's Pioneer Family of the Year — as of 2015, the only one to be so honored twice — and she served as grand marshal of the Agua Dulce Country Fair parade in 2008.
In 2009, she enrolled in courses at COC's Canyon Country campus in pursuit of one more goal — earning a college degree before she turned 100.
She did it.
— Leon Worden 2015