Elda Unger 1930-2023


Elda Dixler Unger was a fabulous force of nature and a Malibu icon. She brought creativity and joy wherever she went. She thrived in gardens and boardrooms alike. 

Born in Chicago in 1930, she lived above the grocery store her parents ran. While attending Roosevelt College, she married Dan on December 23, 1951. They were inseparable until he died in 2013. The family lived in Paris in the late 1970s, where Elda painted and also studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu. Onward to Malibu in 1978. Elda went on to earn an MA in art therapy from Goddard College and helped found, head, and expand Free Arts for Abused Children. She was an award-winning leader in the California Arts Therapy community. Adored by artists and aristocrats, Elda dedicated her life to supporting children in need. 

She had the unending love of her children, Jeffrey, Lauren, and Eden, and her son-in-law, Nate; her grandchildren, Julius, Lyric, and Cyrus; her soul sister, Kati Samet and family; her brother and sister-in-law, Joseph and Rosalie Dixler and their sons; her sister-in-law, Joan, and her nephew, David Deutsch; cousins April and the Sugarmans, Suzi Wilner, all of the LeVines; her devoted godchildren, Rick Nowels and Maria Vidal; her daughter-in-law, Marilynn Pardee and daughter, Eloise; her adopted grandson, Taylor Woodward; and her many interesting, passionate, and dear friends who she adored. Her family will announce plans for a celebration of her life this spring.  

In lieu of flowers, the family emphatically welcomes donations to the Elda Unger Scholarship Fund at Plymouth State University, which can be sent to Advancement Services ATT: Elda Unger Scholarship Fund, MSC 50, 17 High St., Plymouth, NH 03264-1595 or give online Click Here.

Original photo taken by Gary Leva