Stan Sierad, Senior Activist
By Liane Klein
Sierad greets the crowd as grand marshal
of the 1999 Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade.
Signal Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2001
evoted Santa Clarita Valley volunteer Stanley Sierad, 85, died Friday morning in his Valencia home after lapsing into coma.
A well-known figure in the community, Sierad dedicated many years to the SCV Senior Center, the SCV Boys and Girls Club and numerous other organizations where he provided a helping hand, a willing ear, and bent over backwards to help seniors and children.
"He always brought sunshine to a room, had a twinkle in his eye and a heart that loved and wanted to help everyone," daughter Roberta Christianson said. "One thing my daddy asked is that people remember him and all the things that he did to help those in need."
Before his death, Sierad asked his family to open a nursing home facility on a piece of property behind the SCV Senior Center so seniors who had no one to go home to, could have a bright cheery place to stay, whether long-term or short-term.
"That was a promise we made to him, and a wish that we are working to make come true," Christianson said.
During his own winter years, Sierad helped countless other seniors by raising funds for senior programs, making visits to the homebound elderly throughout the community and seeing to it that they are properly cared for and fed.
In addition to the Meals on Wheels campaign, he had been actively involved in pursuing affordable housing and health care projects for seniors.
Sierad and his wife Henrietta lived in the SCV for more than 20 years. The couple, who were married for 57 years, have three daughters, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The bulk of his volunteer work targeted fund-raising efforts through the SCV Committee on Aging.
Considered by many as a surrogate father, Sierad committed himself to helping the young and old alike. Sierad was Senior of the Year in 1992 and 1999, a Super Volunteer Award recipient in 1998, and nominated for Man of the Year by The Signal in 1993.
In addition to volunteering, he has been a senior citizens liaison for State Assemblyman George Runner, R-Lancaster, past president and ambassador-at-large for the SCV Committee on Aging, on the board of the Boys and Girls Club, and a member of the SCV Lions Club. Sierad has also worked with U.S. Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, in order to pass legislation on behalf of seniors.
Sierad once said that the secret to remaining youthful and active lies in selflessness, while describing his role as a community activist a responsibility rather than a choice.
"Santa Clarita would not be what it is without the likes of Stan. He was a great man," said Brad Berens, friend and Executive Director of the SCV Senior Center. "For the last 15 years the quality of life of our residents is far better and I can't imagine anyone who will be missed more."
Funeral Services will be held 3 p.m. today at Groman Eden Mortuary, 11500 Sepulveda Boulevard, Mission Hills. The family requests that all donations be made to the SCV Senior Center's nursing home project or the Pro Care Hospice.
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