Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Margaret L. Seltzer, SCV Historical Society Docent

By Lila Campuzano
Signal Staff Writer

Monday, October 19, 2004

argaret L. Seltzer, daughter of Saugus pioneers Anna M. and Ore W. Bercaw and longtime member of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, has died. She was 86.
    Seltzer died in San Fernando on Thursday following a short illness.
    Her father, Ore Bercaw, was station agent and telegraph operator at the Saugus Train Station starting in 1906, said Margaret's daughter Loretta.
    He left the job after he and his wife bought a parcel across San Fernando Road from the train station and opened a general store next to the Saugus Cafe. The store remained open for more than 50 years, closing in the 1960s.
    Margaret Seltzer attended Immaculate Heart College, from which she graduated in 1939. She also attended the University of California Los Angeles for a year, said Loretta Seltzer.
    "She said that there really wasn't anything else to do," Loretta Seltzer said.
    Margaret Seltzer taught school in Saugus during the 1941-42 school year. In 1942 she married Marlen J. Seltzer, a Saugus automobile mechanic. They settled in a Bouquet Canyon homestead.
    Both joined the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, and Margaret continued after her husband's death in 1990, driving up from the San Fernando Valley to act as docent.
    "Faithfully she would do her monthly duty as a docent at the train station," said historical society member Anne Kaulbach, who added, "Any kind of awards we could bestow on her have been bestowed on her. She was such a super lady."
    Margaret Seltzer received the society's Founders Award, its highest honor, in 1995.
    She was also active with the San Fernando Mission; she played the organ at the mission church and was in charge of Las Damas, the volunteer women who take tours through the mission, said Loretta Seltzer.
    "Her heart was in both places," Kaulbach said.
    Seltzer is survived by daughters Loretta, Louise and Celeste Seltzer — who is Sister Madonna-Joseph — and son Paul. She is also survived by daughter-in-law Teresa and two grandsons, Marc and Luke.
    A memorial Mass will be celebrated today at noon at San Fernando Mission.

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