It is with profound sadness that we share the following news with our Girl Scout community about the passing of two extraordinary leaders in our council.
Bernie Horst passed away peacefully at age 98 on May 24 surrounded by her family in Westchester. Although not a Girl Scout in her youth, Bernie was her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop 218 leader and stayed closely connected with these girls throughout her lifetime. In 2017, they reunited in Nashville, the fifth such reunion, celebrating Bernie’s leadership, their sisterhood, and reminiscing on the many doors Bernie opened for them as young girls. A handmade tribute quilt hangs on the wall of the conference room of the Marina Del Rey Service Center honoring Bernie.
Bernie’s philanthropic support of GSGLA, and the Angeles legacy council before 2008, was legendary. Shortly after our realignment, Bernie generously gifted the council the funding to rebuild the swimming pool and pool house at her beloved Camp Osito Rancho. Dedicated in 2011, “Bernie’s pool” serves as a focal point of activities at our residential camp in Big Bear for many hundreds of girls each summer. Her love of the outdoors was apparent in all that Bernie stood for.
Bernie has also created a strong commitment to our Gold Award Girl Scouts. For over a decade, Bernie has provided scholarship funding for girls who have earned their Gold Award and are embarking on their college journey, encouraging girls to use the funding awarded them for their college expenses. Bernie read each application in detail and hosted a ceremony in her garden to honor these girls, complete with homemade lemonade from her lemon trees and Girl Scout Cookies. She will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and unwavering vision that all girls benefited from the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, especially in outdoor adventures.
Bernie was a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Legacy Society and in 2013, Bernie was awarded the prestigious GSGLA Award by CEO Lise L. Luttgens for her many philanthropic commitments to Girl Scouting.
Memorial services for Bernie will be private.
Claudia Wagner passed away peacefully on May 30. She was a committed adult who gave of herself to our council, all the girls in her Girl Scout troop, and beyond. Claudia grew up as a Girl Scout, and then became her daughter Karen’s troop leader from Brownies all the way through older girl levels. Thirty years ago, she and her friend Joelynn Gil (now the service unit manager for Heart of the Valley) helped their daughters and 12 other Girl Scouts form one of the current legacy Senior/Ambassador Troops in the San Fernando Valley, Wind Quest, Troop 19126.
Claudia served as the service unit manager of Heart of the Valley from 2000-2003. She was a Gold Award consultant, Travel Go Team member, and a Girl Scout staff member in the legacy San Fernando Valley council. She was the retail manager in the Chatsworth shop and then transitioned to the Woodland Hills retail shop as a part-time employee and retired from that position in 2013. She kept close connections with many friends who are part of our GSGLA community.
Claudia was a true Girl Scout to all who knew her. She welcomed new troop members with open arms and inspired girls to embrace the values of Girl Scouts. Many girls, parents, and volunteers share great memories of times spent with Claudia, as she shared her wisdom and sense of fun and adventure with them all.
Funeral services are open to anyone who would like to attend. They will take place on Saturday, June 9 at 3 p.m. at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Church of the Hills (6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles). Claudia is survived by her daughter Karen and two sons, Michael and Rob, and four grandchildren.
To honor the memory of these beloved volunteers, please consider making a gift to GSGLA. Simply visit our website, select “This gift is in honor, memory, or support of someone” to make a gift in memory of either Bernie or Claudia. Please note, Bernie’s friends have asked that gifts made in her memory go to support outdoor experiences for girls.