Beverly Hills City Council Acknowledges Two Tragedies

The City Council dedicated time during its Dec. 7 Regular Meeting to two tragedies, one historic and the other still raw. The Council honored the 2,335 American service members killed in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by inviting retired Captain Robert Wolff, an alumnus of Beverly Hills High School who served in World War II. The Council awarded Wolff with a proclamation on behalf of the city.

Wolff served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew eight bombing missions from his base in Scotland. On his last mission, his aircraft lost three engines and crashed into the English Channel. He and his crew survived, but were subsequently captured and interned by German forces until the end of the war.

“Captain Wolff, on behalf of our entire City Council, I’d like to thank you for your incredible service and heroic acts of patriotism that you’ve dedicated and demonstrated throughout your life. You truly are a hero and a representative of many in your generation,” said Mayor Robert Wunderlich.

“I don’t really feel like a big hero. I just did what I had to do. That’s all,” said Wolff, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

The Council also issued a proclamation in the honor of Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old long-time resident and prominent philanthropist who was shot and killed on Dec. 1.

Noting her accomplishments throughout her life, Wunderlich read from the proclamation, “[W]e, the City Council of the City of Beverly Hills, do hereby honor Jacqueline Avant for her positive impact on the community throughout her life that will never be forgotten.”

Wunderlich also shared a statement on behalf of the Avant family. “Thank you for the heartfelt condolences over the loss of our beloved Jacquie. We feel incredibly blessed to have received the support kindness and prayers over the last week,” the family said.

According to the statement, the family has arranged the Jacqueline Avant Memorial Fund for the new MLK Children’s Center in Watts as per her wishes. Avant previously invested time into the Watts community in 1975 as the president of the Neighbors of Watts, the support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center.

Bosse, a personal friend of Avant’s daughter Nicole, described Avant as “a guardian angel on this earth.”

“She changed so many lives and there isn’t one human being who didn’t meet her that didn’t say that she was the kindest, most loving, humble, giving human being,” Bosse said. 

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