A Fond, but Reluctant Farewell

Chris Shabel 1933 to 2013

Chris Shabel (1933-2013)

Chris Shabel has passed away. We will not see her like again. Chris was the heart of the Hollywood Highlands Democratic Club, the best of us, and it breaks all of our hearts to have say goodbye to her.

She was always warm, welcoming and of good cheer. She also had a backbone of polished steel. For over 30 years she fought for her ideals, her neighborhood and for us all. She outlived most of her opponents, and many things she opposed, like the CRA, which she fought to it’s death.

Chris loved people and they loved her. She welcomed us all into her home for parties, for politics and for good conversation. She celebrated her 80th birthday early this October, just before going into the hospital, with a big party packed with her many friends and her family.

Nicknamed the “Godmother of Hollywood”, she was always ready to make a call to help someone or express her outrage at the latest City Hall travesty.

Just about everyone in Los Angeles - actually California, politics from Senator Boxer to the greenest Council hopefuls came to her house, seeking her blessings. The HHDC garden parties in her garden, were famous for the big names who stayed beyond the time their schedulers allotted and enjoyed her special brand of hospitality. She was funny, she was wise, she was kind, but she did not suffer fools or mince words.

Senator Richard Polanco named her California Woman of the year. She had so many honors and plaques and scrolls from her many varied services and activities that she had to get the show “Clean House” to help her deal with them all.

She was often mentioned in the news for her activism and opinions. The LA Weekly put her their “People” Issue - a compendium of LA’s influential and colorful personalities and wrote about her frequently.

She hosted a local cable show, Neighborhood Point of View for many years. Bringing her dry humor, genial nature and charming British tones to bear on her often wild and less charming guests.

We miss her and know there will be no replacing her.

Chris, center, with her daughters, Jacquie (rt.) and Patricia and her grandson, Rhys, Jacquie’s son.

Chris on her front porch, where she greeted everyone from Senators to shoemakers.

Photo from an LA Weekly article “Doomskraper” by Patrick McDonald

Chris Shabel