Funeral Mass will be held May 29, 1:30 p.m., at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for Robert F. Erburu, 83, the last chairman of Times Mirror Co. and a 2001 Cardinal’s Award recipient, who died May 11 at his home in Santa Barbara.
A California native who served as an altar boy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ojai, he earned a journalism degree from USC. He then attended Harvard Law School, got his law degree and — a year after marrying his college sweetheart, the former Lois Stone — began working at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
Erburu joined Times Mirror in 1961 as a legal advisor to then-chairman Norman Chandler and within a few months became general counsel. He rose within the ranks, becoming president in 1974, CEO in 1980 and chairman in 1986.
A civic leader who was active on the boards of many nonprofit organizations — including the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino — Erburu also served on the archdiocesan Finance Council and the Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation board, and was a longtime member of Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills, where he was a lector and a chair of the parish finance council.
In a 2001 Tidings’ profile, he said his experience as a lector served him well in life. “I used to be nervous in speaking in front of a group,” he said. “But being a lector really helped me at Times Mirror, once I got into positions where I had to do a lot of public speaking. Colleagues, in fact, began asking me, ‘How come you’re so much more relaxed?’” He retired from Times Mirror in 1996.
Among Erburu’s numerous honors from community, business, educational and religious groups are the 1994 Spirit of Life Award from Santa Marta Hospital, the 1999 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR) and the 2001 Cardinal’s Award.
Erburu told The Tidings that, over and above all the accolades, he most valued his family’s close relationship. “I don’t know where I’d be without Lois,” he said of his wife, with whom he shared the honors from Santa Marta and SOAR. He was also immensely proud of his daughters: Susan, a lawyer, and Lisa, a pediatrician.
“Sometimes I think a lot of my success has been dumb luck,” said Erburu. “But I’ve also had the support of my family, my faith and the people with whom I’ve worked. I’m very thankful for all of it.” In addition to his wife of 59 years, Erburu is survived by his two children, Susan Reardon and Dr. Lisa Erburu, and four grandchildren.
Sr. Margery Flynn, RSHM
Funeral Mass was held May 10 at Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel, Montebello, for Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Sister Margery Flynn, 80, who died May 7 at Regina Residence in Orange. She had been a member of the RSHM congregation for 63 years.
Born in Waterford, Ireland, she entered the RSHM order in Tarrytown, New York, and later received a B.A. and teaching credential from Marymount College, Los Angeles. All of her active ministry was devoted to teaching. She taught in elementary schools in: St. Alphonsus, Los Angeles; St. Patrick, North Hollywood; St. Francis de Sales, Sherman Oaks; Christ the King, Los Angeles; Marymount Junior, Los Angeles and Palos Verdes; and St. Joseph of Cupertino, Cupertino.
Sister Flynn was a conscientious and dedicated teacher who was known for her kindness and wit. When hearing impairment prevented her from teaching, she volunteered in many areas in the schools and was loved by students and staff alike. She will be greatly missed by her RSHM Sisters, her family, her students, her many friends and those who cared for her at Mission Lodge in San Gabriel and the Regina Residence. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
Funeral Mass was held May 16 at St. Didacus Church in Sylmar for Leonora Alvarez, 93, who died May 9. Survivors include her son, Father Arturo Valadez, associate pastor at St. Didacus.