Gordon Murley, advocate for Woodland Hills homeowners, dies at 86

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Gordon Murley wouldn’t give in. He was tough at times, but an advocate for the Woodland Hills community to the end, friends and family said.

Murley, 86, the founder and longtime president of the Woodland Hills Homeowners’ Organization, died March 11.

“He was always for the people,” his wife Silvia Anthony-Murley said Tuesday. “When there were issues, it was ‘call Gordon.’ He always had an answer.”

The “answers” Murley dispensed ranged from neighborhood rights issues to LA’s building and zoning codes, which he knew well – and needed to know when commercial and residential development intersected with the Woodland Hills homeowners group he founded in the early 1990s.

According to the group’s March newsletter, Murley was a “staunch defender” when it came to the fight for “measured” development in the hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley.

Of note was his challenge to a group of builders who wanted to develop large homes on a narrow, twisty road near Mulholland Drive. That challenge spawned the WHHO and a tenure that culminated in recognition at Los Angeles City Hall, according to the group’s newsletter.

He died four days after L.A.’s March election. In his final message for the group’s newsletter, Murley expressed his displeasure with the election results.

“All we got seems to be those who favor unbridled growth, who haven’t balanced the budget for Los Angeles and in the past ok’ed not maintaining infrastructure.” He then urged homeowners to become more “effective in sorting out and supporting candidates and issues that will make government better.”

Murley was born in the city of Taft, near Bakersfield. He graduated from UCLA in the early 1950s, his wife Silvia Anthony-Murley said, noting his career in radiopharmaceuticals, which he built in tandem with the burgeoning field of nuclear medicine.

He retired 10 years ago, but that energy for advocacy in the midst of development lasted until the end, despite his failing health in later years, according to Anthony-Murley.

Murley is survived by his wife, his sister Norma Jean and cousins.

A memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion Post 826, at 5320 Fallbrook Ave./Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367.

In lieu of flowers, you can make memorial donations to the American Legion Post 826, PO Box 189, Woodland Hills, CA 91365 or The Valley Women’s Center, 22110 Roscoe Blvd., Suite 204, Canoga Park, CA 91304. Phone 818-713-8700, www.Valleywomenscenter.com.


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