Howard Kayton, Leader, Outings Chair
Howard Kayton, Sierra Club member, treasured friend, leader and Outings Chair for the Santa Monica Mountains Task Force died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 4 at the age of 74. Howard was the ultimate volunteer and the driving force behind our successful outings programs in the Santa Monica Mountains. As Outings Chair, he did an incredible job for many years of organizing hikes, doing the paperwork and spending countless hours recruiting new hike leaders and discovering new routes in the Santa Monicas.
Howard likely will be best remembered for the many, hikes he led and the encouragement he gave to members who would become new leaders. He also was a consistent, strong supporter of the task force’s environmental activities. Howard leaves behind a loving family and a large community of Sierra Club friends.
—Mary Ann Webster
Bonnie Sharpe, leader, conservation activist
Bonnie Sharpe, known as a feisty, long-term activist with a passion for the environment and a skilled Sierra Club trip leader, died Feb. 3 of cancer.
During her long tenure with the Club, Bonnie led the Chapter’s Executive Committee, the Conservation Committee and Sierra Club California. She was a representative to the Club’s National Council of Club Leaders, the entity that advises the national board of directors about grassroots concerns.
Bonnie also was an outstanding leader and one of the “stars” of the national Sierra Club outings program. Her service trips to Chaco Canyon from the late 1980s to the early 2000s followed others to the Red Rock art region near Sedona, Ariz., were always over-subscribed.
Bonnie was a Sierra Club leader in the fashion John Muir modeled and intended: someone who drew on the experiences of enjoying the outdoors and nature and then took that love into the political and community organizing realm through her unyielding support of many activists and campaigns.
Bonnie held a Master’s degree in archeology and built up a wonderful relationship with archeologists at the National Park Service as well as Universities of Arizona and New Mexico; many joined the trips to share their expertise.
Bonnie’s trips were learning experiences as well as service trips for most of the volunteers, many of whom returned year after year to spend another week in Chaco or Sedona.
On the Chapter level, Bonnie helped protect land at the Ballona Wetlands during her tenure as Chapter chair. “We protected 600 acres of land at Ballona on the Los Angeles coast in significant part due to Bonnie’s support,” Hanscom says. “I am so grateful to her for those times when her cunning mind were put to good use for the Earth.”
—Marcia Hanscom and Chuck Buck
Joe Vogel, outings leader
Joe Vogel, who worked on forming the Chapter’s Crescenta Valley Group in the 1970s, died in December. He was 75. During the 1970s, Joe worked to form the new valley group and led hikes for a decade with the group and the Hundred Peaks Section for almost 10 years.
Joe, his wife and children Julie, Marty, and Michael (who were 9, 7 and 6 respectively, at the time) earned the Hundred Peaks emblem as a family.
The times spent with friends in the Sierra Club were among the happiest memories he and his family shared.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and stepchildren Kim Williams and Michael Nolan and four grandchildren. The funeral and internment was held in Arizona.
—Mary Ann Lower