Transitions are milestone events in the lives of individuals, families, and organizations. In our Southwest Shore community such "transitions" may include the death of a loved one, the birth of a new life, the departure of a long-time cabin family from the Southwest Shore, or the arrival of a new cabin family into our community. Over the past few years there have been many "transitions" in our Southwest Shore community, and it seems appropriate to have a section of our website where we can highlight those events.
Not all transition events are enumerated here. In the case of births and deaths, we follow the wishes and direction of close family members regarding the posting of information here on the website. We encourage people to let us know about these family transitions. If you would like to have one of your cabin's transition events included in our website, please send us the information using the Contact Form on this website.
Welcome — Eric Sussman and Scott Anderson (Cabin 58 - Treasure Island)
We welcome Eric and Scott and their families to the Big Bear Southwest Shore, as the new owners of “Treasure Island”, officially designated as Cabin 58. We look forward to meeting them officially at our Annual Owners’ Meeting this summer.
Passing — Lillian York Atkinson (Cabins 8 and 9)
Lillian York Atkinson, August 7, 1948 - June 26, 2018, age 69
Lillian “Lil” York Atkinson, beloved spouse of George Atkinson, was a granddaughter of the founding York family of the Southwest Shore Colony, and a very popular lifelong summer resident here. She passed away last summer after a courageous multi-year struggle with cancer.
Lil’s grandparents (McClellan and Lillian York – Lil’s namesake) built their cabin on Papoose Bay, just south of Keystone Point, in the summer of 1913. Her grandfather built the cabin himself, using wood floated over from the Fawnskin lumber mill. Lil’s grandmother and their three children camped nearby during the construction. That summer of 1913 ended with the completion of the cabin, and the birth of Lil’s father Bill.
Lil’s parents Bill and Lucille took charge of the cabin in the early 1940s. They introduced Lil to the Colony in 1948 when she was five weeks old, using a dresser drawer at the cabin as her crib. Sadly, Lil’s father Bill died in his sleep at the cabin when Lil was only six years old – but happily, her mother Lucille survived to 2003, age 86. Lil was the third generation of York women to spend all of their summers, full-time, at the cabin. She also attended Big Bear High School, graduating in the class of 1966.
In 1985, Lil and George Atkinson were married on the deck of the cabin, and at that time Lucille turned the cabin over to them. Lil, and George as well, have always been very pleasant, friendly and positive neighbors and engaged members of the Colony community, supportive of all Colony initiatives and activities.
Because of her very outgoing and affectionate personality, her full-time presence at the Colony each summer, and her abiding interest and love of her Colony neighbors, Lil probably knew more of the cabin families than anyone else – and will be missed by all who knew her. Our sympathy and condolences to George, to the seven nieces and nephews for whom she was a beloved aunt, and to her five godchildren who visited at the cabin frequently over the years.
Passing -- Martha "Marti" Hammer (Cabin 46)
Martha W. Hammer, February 23, 1945 – July 4, 2018, age 73.
Martha “Marti” Wehmeier Hammer passed away after an extended and determined battle against cancer. Marti was the beloved spouse of Steven Hammer and mother of Colony native children Kirsten Dueck (Colin), Brady (Renee) and Mike (Lisette Marie) Hammer.
Marti and Steve met and fell in love during their early college years (he at Pomona College, she at Scripps College), and married in 1967 – so that they were able to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in 2017. They were introduced to the Colony in the early 1960s through their frequent visits as guests of Lou Myers, Steve’s best friend and fraternity brother at Pomona College. Lou became their Colony cabin scout, so that when he learned that Cabin 54 on Spring Road was becoming available in 1981, he alerted them and they immediately purchased it. They also later acquired Cabin 46, directly uphill from Cabin 54, which they have in recent years established as their Colony headquarters.
Marti was for decades a practicing lawyer and partner at major Los Angeles law firms. She also served as a long-time Trustee of Scripps College, and on the Board of The Thacher School in Ojai. After retiring from law practice, for several years she served as the President of the Independent Colleges of Southern California, the consortium of the private colleges of the area. In more recent years Marti became an independent recognized scholar of Latin American art, and particularly as a published expert on women artists of the Mexican muralist movement.
At the Colony, Marti was (together with Steve) a loving parent and a congenial and engaging neighbor and friend, as each of the Hammer kids enjoyed the experience of being raised as Colony kids as well as Hammer kids. Marti had a ready and strong sense of humor and opinion, which served her well as a mother, wife and neighbor.
The Hammer lakefront deck became the social center of the Spring Road neighborhood from the 1980s to well into the 1990s, as Marti was the hostess of regular Saturday evening family gatherings of neighbors and ski-beach friends. She, together with Steve, was also an active and loyal supporter of all of the various Colony projects over the years, including especially the initiation and long-time organization of the popular annually-themed Colony T-Shirt program which they started in the mid-1980s and is still running strong after more than 30 years.
We offer sympathy and condolences to Steve, the Hammer children and their extended families for this sad loss. Marti will be long missed by all who knew her.
Passing -- Patti Hare (Cabin 45)
Patti Hare passed away on the morning of July 4, 2017. She has been coming to cabin 45 at Big Bear Lake since 1954.
She loved Big Bear and spent most of her spare time during the summer at the lake. She last worked at Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in Burbank, and loved her job there. She became ill about 30 months ago and passed away in a skilled nursing facility in Downey at the age of 64. She is survived by her 2 brothers, Bill and Dick, 9 nieces and nephews, and 20 great nieces and nephews. She was known to all the family as “Patti the Great”. Her last summer up at the cabin was in 2014.
-- from Bill Hare (Cabin 45)
Welcome -- Kim and George Wizer (Cabin 77)
During the fall of 2017, Kim and George Wizer purchased Cabin 77, located just off of Highway 18, high above Kidd Cove. Many Southwest Shore "old timers" will know their cabin as "the Shankland cabin." We welcom Kim and George, and look forward to seeing them often at the Southwest Shore.
Passing -- Jack Whitaker (Cabin 66)
It is with great sadness we note the passing of Jack Whitaker last fall. Jack loved Big Bear Lake and our community as evidenced by his volunteer work to lead the annual brush cleanup projects and his participation at our association meetings and celebration events. We will all miss Jack and his stories and his great voice in song. Our sympathies go out to his wife Dee and his family. We have been told that the family will continue to enjoy the cabin and his legacy will live on through them.
-- from Gary Hafen (Cabin 61)
Passing -- Jim Taylor (Cabin 62)
Jim Taylor, Don Carlos Road. Jim passed away at around age 90. He was a most cheerful and supportive Southwest Shore resident for the past 35 summers, and regarded this as his favorite place on earth. Jim was a prominent educator, having served as Deputy Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and namesake of the James B. Taylor Charter Middle School. His large and devoted family is continuing to enjoy the cabin
-- from Dick Fisher (Cabin 85)
Passing -- Pat Webb (Cabin 59)
Patricia H. Webb, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and newly attained great-grandmother passed into heavenly eternity this past November 7, 2016. Her presence will always be felt by all who visit Cabin 59 on the lakefront. Memories of spending entire summers at the cabin will never fade from our hearts … Peaceful rest now granted for this beautiful caring soul.
-- from Brian Webb (Cabin 59)