February 22, 1917 ~ April 13, 2008
A Pillar of the Gardena Community
George Don Algie, the longtime owner and publisher of the Gardena Valley News, passed away Sunday evening, April 13, 2008 at Memorial Hospital of Gardena. Born on Feb. 22, 1917 in Moline, Ill., he was 91. A celebration of his life will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, April 25 at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, Calif. Officiating will be Pastor Ron Matsuda of the Gardena Valley Baptist Church. Don was the youngest of three children and the only boy born to parents James D. and Mary E. Algie. The family moved to Southern California when he was an infant and Don was raised in the city of Eagle Rock, Calif. He graduated from Eagle Rock High School in the mid-1930s and studied business at Glendale Junior College. He found employment at Lockheed Aircraft and during World War II, worked for the Lockheed plant in Glasgow, Scotland. While working overseas, he met and married an English girl, Sheila Mary Atkinson. When the Algies returned to Southern California after the war, they settled in Gardena. His sister and brother-in-law, Agnes and Harry Dow, purchased the Gardena Valley News in January 1946 and when Harry passed away six weeks later, Don stepped in as general manager of the company. During this period, he and Sheila raised two sons, Donald "Steve" Algie and Dennis James Algie. When Agnes retired in 1957, Don took over the GVN newspaper and press operation. That same year, he took on a business partner in William J. Hunt, who served as news co-publisher until 1974, when Algie bought out Hunt's share of the business. Under Don's ownership, the Gardena Valley News earned many journalism honors from the California Newspaper Publishers Association from the 1960s to the 1980s. Algie was also active in various civic and fraternal organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of Gardena Valley (to which he had a perfect meeting attendance of more than 60 years), the Boy Scouts of America, the Gardena YMCA Judo Club and was a charter member of the Gardena Valley Elks Lodge No. 1919. Among his many civic honors, Algie was inducted into Gardena's Wall of Fame in 1997, received the 2004 Community Recognition Awards from both the Gardena Valley Lions and the Okinawa Association of America in 2004, and the 2007 Chamber of Commerce business of the year award. In February 2008, he was named Kiwanian of the Year by his Kiwanis Club of Gardena Valley. He requested a Hawaiian theme for his Kiwanis party at Nader's Classic Barn and among his awards on that occasion, was a framed Certificate of Recognition from Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He was working five days a week, up to and beyond his 91st birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents James and Mary Algie; wife Sheila; son Steve Algie; and sisters Dorothy Black and Agnes Dow. Don is survived by son Dennis Algie and daughter-in-law Johnna; daughter-in-law Kim Algie; first grandson George Algie, grandchildren Bronson and Nicole Algie, and grandson Joseph Faxel; great-granddaughter, Sabrina Faxel; many nieces, nephews and other family members; and longtime companion Ruriko Yatabe. Memorial Services will be on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 11AM at Rice Chapel, Torrance, CA with a reception to immediately follow services in Rice Reception Room. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don Algie's name to the Gardena Senior Day Care Center at 14517 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena, CA 90249.