Wildflower author and long-time Antelope Valley resident Milt Stark died aged 95 after a short illness.
Stark was educated in Antelope Valley, worked for Lockheed and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943. Post World War lI, he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies from USC. Stark married Susan Rhine in 1948 and the couple had four children. They moved to Antelope Valley in 1959, and settled in Leona Valley. Stark was a director of Camp Mendenhall and Camp Fenner Canyon; retiring in 1979.
In 1991 Stark published a book: A Flower-Watcher's Guide to Spring-Blooming Wildflowers of the Antelope Valley, later publishing an updated version which encompassed the Western Mojave. Both books became the definitive reference guides for wildflower enthusiasts. He lectured throughout the Valley on wildflowers and local history.
Stark's civic roles included President of the Antelope Valley School Board Association, the Westside Union School District Board, the Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association, and the West Antelope Valley Historical Society. He chaired the Antelope Valley State Parks Advisory Committee and was active in the Sierra Club. He was also involved with the Leona Valley Improvement Association and 4-H club. The Antelope Valley's Ripley Desert Woodland was declared a State Park with trails through its Joshua tree and Juniper forest as a result of his tenacious leadership.
He had a strong sense of social justice, was an avid reader, gardener, photographer and followed politics until the day he died. Milton Stark was a unique individual who left a legacy built on his leadership skills and extensive contributions to the community.
Milton is survived by his long-time companion Carol Coulter, his four children, Amy Anderson (Rob), Mary Cardenas (Ed), John Stark (Anne) and Nita Maynard (Neale), 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who all loved him dearly.
Milton is survived by his long-time companion Carol Coulter, his four children, Amy Anderson (Rob), Mary Cardenas (Ed), John Stark (Anne) and Nita Maynard , (Neale), 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who all loved him dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ripley Desert Woodland State Park/Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association (PR/MDIA/Ripley Donations, PO Box 1408, Lancaster CA 93584-9008) or online.
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