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Monday, October 13, 2014

Guy Weddington McCreary, North Hollywood Activist/Scion, Passes at 77

Guy Weddington McCreary, devoted husband, loving father, philanthropist, community leader and historian, left this earth on October 12th at the age of 77 years, after a brave battle with cancer. Guy leaves behind his loving wife Diane, his son Jon and many devoted friends.

Guy was the venerable patriarch of the historic Weddington family, who owned and developed much of North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and Studio City. Guy's family came to present day North Hollywood in 1886. In 1892 Wilson Weddington, Guy's Great Grandfather, was appointed the first Postmaster of the town of Toluca. He was also Constable of that same community.

Original Farm, Was North Hollywood Business District
The Weddington's original farm included most of today's North Hollywood business district. Their first family farm house remains today on Weddington Street. Throughout their 128 year history in the San Fernando Valley, the Weddington family provided the land or built the first area school (Lankershim school), the first jail, the first and then current North Hollywood fire stations, the Southern Pacific train depot, the North Hollywood Post Office, the El Portal Theater (which the family built in 1926), the Bank of Lankershim, the Weddington Brothers General Store (later Rathbun's Department Store and the Valley's first modern department store) and the North Hollywood Library.

North Hollywood Park Created
During the 1920's the family helped create and dedicate North Hollywood Park, and in later years Weddington Park on land previously farmed by the family. In 1895 the family sold The Southern Pacific land for a train depot (which remains today), and beginning in 1897 the family operated the Bonner Packing Company, which produced and shipped San Fernando Valley fruit across the Nation and around the world.

Pacific Red Car Comes to Valley
By 1907 Bonner Packing was the largest employer in the area with more than 250 employees. In 1910 the Weddington Investment Company was formed and, in partnership with Harry Chandler, Moses Sherman and H J Whitley, they were successful in bringing the Pacific Electric Red Car to the Valley. In the 1950's the family lead the fight to build the 101 freeway through the Cahuenga Pass and later, under Guy's leadership, they would fight to bring the MTA Red Line subway to the Valley. In the 1970's, as North Hollywood was in decline, Guy McCreary lead the fight to bring redevelopment to the community his family had built. Guy helped envision and bring about what is today the thriving "NoHo" community.

Accomplished Historian
Guy was a graduate of North Hollywood High School, Whittier College and he earned a post-graduate degree in Government from the Claremont Colleges. He served as President of the Weddington Investment Companies from 1984 to his death. Among his many accomplishments, he served as a Commissioner on the L A County Commission for Public Social Services and he was Executive Director of the Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. Guy's commitment to the community was demonstrated through his leadership and activities with the North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the Jaycee's, Toluca Little League, the Kiwanis Club of North Hollywood, the Key Club and his beloved Campo de Cahuenga; the birthplace of California. Guy was an accomplished historian and in 1974 his highly-acclaimed history of the Mexican revolution "From Glory to Oblivion" was published.

Donations to the Campo de Cahuenga Memorial are requested in Guy's honor.

(Information from the Universal City-North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce)

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