Sandie Van Horn was a wife, mother, grandmother, businesswoman and environmentalist.
She excelled in all those roles, family members and friends said.
In Long Beach environmental circles, fellow crusaders admired her intelligence and stamina.
She died Jan. 23 after a long battle with cancer. She was 74.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated today at 10:30 a.m. at St. Anne's in Seal Beach, 340 10th St.
"She was pretty fierce about what she cared about," recalled veteran environmentalist attorney Mel Nutter, a former chairman of the state Coastal Commission.
The fierceness was not in her character, but in the content of her speeches, advocating for the preservation of wetlands, especially Los Cerritos Wetlands.
Van Horn's speeches were often sprinkled with history outlines, underscoring the importance of environmental sites.
"She was impressive and formidable," Nutter added.
Mary Suttie, who often shared the podium with Van Horn, said the environmental issues were simply one aspect of her life.
"Sandie had great convictions on life," Suttie said.
The environmental battles often centered on proposals to develop near the wetlands, such as a Home Depot, or the unpermitted grading of a slice of the wetlands, or a large mixed retail-residential development at Second Street and Pacific Coast Highway.
Van Horn not only criticized those efforts, but she would suggest alternatives,
"She came up with a lot of really good ideas," she recalled.
Van Horn did extensive research on her topics, but also also labored on placards for the demonstrations.
"I appreciated all the work she did," Suttie said. "She worked endlessly and tirelessly."
Pat Towner, another longtime environmental activist, said Van Horn was the catalyst among the advocates.
"She made sure people knew what was going on," she said. "She kept us in the loop."
Van Horn could be found in the wee hours, working on placard signs, or researching her topics.
"She always did her homework," Towner said. "She was the best researcher I've ever known."
Another activist, Joan McGrath, agreed.
"Sandie was the top instrumental person," she said.
The activist was born on Dec. 7, 1938, in Waterloo, Iowa. She is survived by her husband, Jack, of 50 years; three sons, Christopher, Matthew and Nicholas; as well as seven grandchildren, Nicholas, Caden, Briella, Vincent, Matthew, Vivienne and Jacob.
SEADIP to get rewrite
Coastal zoning in southeast Long Beach - the focus of developers with large plans - could soon be getting new community input.
The city has set a Feb. 19 deadline for submissions of request for proposal to produce a new coastal planning document known as the Southeast Area Development Improvement Plan, or SEADIP.
The effort will require up to nearly $1 million, take at least 2<MD+,%30,%55,%70>1/<MD-,%0,%55,%70>2 years, involve analyses of the Los Cerritos Wetlands habitat and other technical reviews, and necessitate continuing public outreach - all before a Planning Commission vote, followed by a City Council vote and finally, California Coastal Commission consideration.
The council requested the revision of SEADIP in December 2011 after it voted down Second+PCH, a $320million mixed retail- residential development that had been proposed to replace the Seaport Marina Hotel at Second Street and Pacific Coast Highway.