Charlene Marie Sperber died early Sunday morning, Sept. 27, at UCLA Health Santa Monica Medical Center. A Malibu resident, she was 90 years old. Charlene was born in Los Angeles to Pearl and Leo Hirshon and attended Fairfax High School. She met Burton S. Sperber at age 15—they married in 1949 and moved to the San Fernando Valley, where they raised their four children. Alongside her husband, Charlene founded what was the nation’s largest landscape services company, ValleyCrest Landscape Company.
A longtime supporter of the Jewish community, Charlene helped build Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge. She was also influential in the building of what is now the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Later in life, she was a supporter of Valley Outreach Synagogue and Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. Charlene loved the arts and design—her hobbies included painting and playing the piano. Up until the end of her life, she was actively involved in philanthropy, especially at Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration and her daughter Wendie Jo’s organization, weSPARK Cancer Support Center.
She is survived by her sister Helene Heller; three children, Ellice, Richard (and his wife Shawn), and Michelle Sperber; and seven grandchildren: Spencer and Daphne Velasquez, Emma and Molly Elizalde, and Sophia, Ryan, and Tyler Sperber. She was preceded in death by her husband Burton and her daughter Wendie Jo. Memorial contributions can be made to weSPARK (14724 Ventura Blvd Suite 101, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403; 818.906.3022) and/or Shane’s Inspiration (15213 Burbank Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 91411 USA; 818.988.5676).