Joslyn Auditorium Renamed for Burbank Couple

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Center Christopher Nardo and Sister Angala unveil new plaque with additional family members. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The auditorium at Joslyn Adult Center was renamed for a dynamic duo — Frank and Libby Nardo on Tuesday.

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Center Christopher Nardo and Sister Angala unveil new plaque with additional family members. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Christopher Nardo (center) and Sister Angala unveil new plaque with additional family members. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The husband and wife super couple were remembered by their children, civic leaders and some 60 friends and neighbors for providing a lifetime of kindness to others, especially at the senior center and at St. Finbar Church.

Taking part in the dedication ceremony were Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Terre Hirsch, chairman of the Park, Recreation and Community Services Board. Several Nardo family members were in attendance, including their son, Christopher, who gave the keynote speech, and their daughter Angela.

Libby’s accomplishments included giving time to Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Burbank Nutrition Program, Keystone Club and in the Burbank schools where for 30 years she was a teacher’s aid and read to the students. She received the Burbank Older American Volunteer Service Award in 1992.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

She and Frank were honored together as the Outstanding Older Americans of Los Angeles County, representing the city of Burbank in 1993. In 2009, Libby was named a Woman of the Year by Rep. Adam Schiff.

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Libby passed away in August 2012. The auditorium was originally dedicated to Frank in 1999 after he passed away that same year.

“But because Frank and Libby were a team and gave so much to our community, it’s very fitting that we include her name with her husband’s to honor their collective contributions to Burbank,” Mayor Gabel-Luddy said.

Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy  speaks to the gathered crowd. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy speaks to the gathered crowd. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Having both their names on the plaque is appropriate, son Christopher said, because Frank always attributed his success to having Libby by his side. In their retirement they couldn’t stay still and volunteered with organizations and projects too many to list, he said. Frank did it not for the glory, but to see that things got done.

Frank took his commitment to BTAC so seriously, that the day before his sextuple coronary bypass surgery he made his sauce for the annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser. And Libby spent an entire school year helping a middle school student maintain reading at her grade level.

New Room Plaque Honoring Libby & Frank Nardo. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
New Room Plaque Honoring Libby & Frank Nardo. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The plaque reads “Frank and Libby Nardo –In honor of a couple who enhanced the lives of so many in the Burbank community.” Several people agreed with the sentiment.

Neighbors Jan Brandt and Fran Peebles used to go to lunch once a month with Libby.

“It was really great because we could catch up with each other because she was so busy, you would hardly see her,” Brandt said.

The couple were committed to getting things accomplished, said Shirley Lesher, who is a member of the Joslyn Bridge Club.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The Thanksgiving dinners at St. Finbar were incredible,” she said. “They were not only for people that maybe couldn’t afford it but for people who had no other family. Wherever they saw a need, they had the energy and the fortitude to go at it and make it happen!”

Pat Hunciker had moved into the neighborhood in 1960. She didn’t drive and had not met anyone on the street because she was busy with two young children. One Sunday she decided to walk to church and Libby pulled up in her yellow station wagon.

“She said ‘Hi! I’m Libby Nardo. Are you going to church?’ and I said yes, and she said ‘I’ll give you a ride.’ She was the first neighbor I met. That’s how she was. Always asking ‘Can I help you?’ ”

Terre Hirsch Chairman of the Park, Recreation and Community Services Board making welcome greetings and introductions. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Terre Hirsch Chairman of the Park, Recreation and Community Services Board making welcome greetings and introductions. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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