Shirley Zoeter Muckenthaler
Shirley Zoeter Muckenthaler

Passings: Shirley Muckenthaler, Harriett Wieder

Two women strongly tied to Orange County history have passed away.

Shirley Zoeter Muckenthaler, whose husband's family built the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton and who was involved in charitable work in her own right, died at her home Jan. 3 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 87.

Harriett M. Wieder, Orange County's first female supervisor and former Huntington Beach mayor, died after being admitted to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach on Thursday. She was 89.

Muckenthaler was born on East Amerige Avenue in Fullerton, less than three miles from her last residence. She attended Fullerton Union High School where she met her future husband, Harold Muckenthaler. They married on Valentine's Day 67 years ago. In 1965, the Muckenthalers donated the 18-room Muckenthaler mansion, built in 1924 on eight acres, to the city for the public to enjoy.

Shirley Muckenthaler was active in several community groups over the years, from the Girls Scouts to the Assistance League of Fullerton. "Mother was always a hands-on person, never in a leadership role," her daughter, Peggy Muckenthaler Albert, said in a statement issued by The Muck.

Besides her husband and daughter, Muckenthaler is survived by another daughter, Kathy Riddle of Newport Beach, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her daughter, Sherryl Drayton. Donations in her memory may be sent to the American Cancer Society or the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Contact Lynn Thornley at or call (714) 738-3134 if you would like to make a donation in her memory to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Endowment. Funeral services are pending.

Born Harriett Pulvers on Oct. 7, 1920, in Toronto, Wieder spent her childhood in Detroit, where she eventually met her husband, Irving Wieder. They married him in 1941, and when Irving was drafted by the U.S. military, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where they had two children.

Wieder was an executive assistant to Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty in 1973 when she launched a successful bid to get elected to the Huntington Beach City Council. She became mayor three years later, and in 1978 was elected Orange County's first female supervisor. She lost a 1988 bid for Congress.

"She's had such an impact in Orange County that what she did still affects what we do on this board," county Supervisor Janet Nguyen said Monday when she informed fellow board members, county workers and the public of Wieder's death, according to an Orange County Register report.

A regional park that will eventually include a trail linking Huntington Beach Central Park with Bolsa Chica State Beach is named after Wieder. Speaking of history, read the shady way that happened here.)


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