DICK LITTLESTONE: The Best of the Best

This editor can think of at least five individuals or groups that should have been honored by the town/community council but have not. Either they have been overlooked or people were unaware of the contributions made.

They still should be acknowledged because they were the Best of the Best.

Colonel Dick Littlestone is the “Best of the Best.”

Dick Littlestone was born in 1923 in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles with his parents in 1929. Then, his family suffered a series of misfortunes, his father was put in a sanitarium, his brother contracted TB and his mother suffered a nervous breakdown. Littlestone was put in foster care and lived with a “spinster” in Tujunga.

In 1943, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and was recommended to attend West Point. He entered the school in 1944 and graduated in 1947.

He married his wife of 72 years, Doris, in 1948.

Littlestone spent 32 years in the Army, serving as a battalion operations officer in Korea and a logistics officer in Vietnam. His valor and skill earned him a number of decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and more than a dozen other medals.

After 32 years of service, Littlestone went back to school and received a master’s degree in business from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA, and in physics and nuclear engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The family moved to the Palisades in 1972.

As he approached retirement, he kept active with community projects.

Littlestone volunteered on the 84 Olympics Youth Activities Subcommission, whose report led to the creation of the LA84 Foundation which has provided an average of $7 million in grants each year to youth sports activities and installations throughout Southern California.

He was  active in Pacific Palisades Rotary, members remembered that “he was always a worker; always had a project in mind. His motto was always helping others.”

Littlestone, with the help of then-Councilman Marvin Braude, got a stop sign installed at the corner of Antioch and Swarthmore.

He worked to get the left-turn signal installed at Mandeville and Sunset, the streetlights in the Huntington Palisades upgraded and a safer student drop-off plan adopted at Paul Revere Middle School.

Former Pacific Palisades Community Council President David Card said, “He singlehandedly got the homeowners association and the city to beautify the little island at Alma Real and Ocampo.”

Littlestone started a one-man campaign in 1997 to have the VA build a Columbarium at the West L.A. VA campus, because there was no more burial room at the cemetery.  That turned into a 20-year effort and finally in 2017 there was a ground-breaking ceremony for the Columbarium, which can hold ashes for nearly 100,000 veterans.

Even in his 90s, he remained an activist, writing letters to newspapers and the Council office. He had been working on the sidewalks on Antioch, which are not handicapped accessible, when he passed in May 2021 at age 99.

Dick Littlestone in front of the traffic island on Alma Real he helped beautify.

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3 Responses to DICK LITTLESTONE: The Best of the Best

  1. Suzanne Milad Helmy says:

    Dick Littlestone was a legend, a person I admired very much.

  2. M says:

    A wonderful human being. I was privileged to know him and laugh with him. He had quite a sense of humor. His wife Doris, baked the most wonderful cookies!!!

    Thank you, Sue for spotlighting Dick Littlestone…

  3. Dave Borgeson says:

    When he grabbed on to something, he was relentless.

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