ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Leslie Rosenberg, 94 years old, born on December 6, 1926, and passed away on April 8, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Dave Blaker on May 16, 2021
Les was one my Scoutmasters in the 70’s and I was close friends with his son Rod in Jr. High. I don’t say this because it’s a memorial page: Les was one of the kindest men I’ve known. One of my fondest memories was when Rod and I asked him to drive us to the then-new Carlsbad Skatepark and he unhesitatingly said yes. A day I will never forget.

Rod and his brother both passed away at a young age, and I hope Les is with them now. A terrible tragedy for such a kind man. I can truly say Les made my early years better than they would have been without his calming guidance and presence…
Posted by Dwight Gillett on May 3, 2021
Les is a true WWII Army Hero. Prior to entering the service, Les was a Boy Scout in Burbank. After he served his military obligation, he returned only to learn that his old scoutmaster was waiting for Les to take over as Scoutmaster. For many years, Les was the ideal Scoutmaster, mentoring countless number of scouts. Two of his Eagle Scouts I know personally. One went on to become a legendary Scoutmaster of the same troop. The other looked upon Les as a father figure. Both became productive young men, as a result of Les' guidance and leadership skills. Les was a charter member of the Autry museum in Griffith Park and one of the best docents on record. He was also a Key volunteer at the Burbank Historical Society museum. His knowledge of Burbank is unparalleled. I will always remember Les as a gentleman, stellar Scoutmaster, excellent volunteer and storyteller and someone who I always look up to. Les touched the lives of so many that each and ever one of us are better citizens, just for having the privilege of being his friend.           "Thank you for your service"   Skip Gillett
Posted by Sue Baldaseroni on May 2, 2021
Les was Don @ my mentor at the Howard museum. He was the most giving man we have ever known from his love of history to love of people. Les was in his element when he and Elaine were touring the kids through museum, answering questions with such ease. You will be missed but remembered forever. 
Posted by Sandy Cain on April 26, 2021
May his memory be a blessing.
Posted by Jerry Wade on April 23, 2021
I wish to honor my friend Les Rosenberg, a man who had a more important roll in my adult life than my own father. He was a friend, a mentor and father figure to me for more than 30 years. He and Elaine had their own family and yet they both had room in their hearts to include us. In the time I knew him, I never saw Les lose his temper, use profanity or speak badly about anyone. I didn’t always live up to his example but I tried. In my life I never met a man who I wanted to be like, until I met Les Rosenberg.
Posted by William (Bill) Richardson on April 17, 2021
I joined the Autry class in September 1995 and graduated in June 1996. Part of my training was to shadow other docents and observed what and how they toured students. Among those who "showed me the ropes" were Les and Elaine. They were both wonderful.
After graduating, I decided that Thursday would be a good day for me to be a docent. Once working on my own at the museum I depended on Les and Elaine for help and conformation on my docent skills. They were extremely helpful and supportive.
Les and I formed a personal relationship along with Elaine and over the years enjoyed talking with Les on a variety topics including his time as the owner of a photo shop in Burbank.
Myrna and I invited Les and Elaine to join us at our home during the Christmas holidays. It was enjoyable to have Les and Elaine join other friends and family during those times.
I will miss Les very much. I always looked forward to seeing him during our Thursday tours. Although I sad about his passing I hold fond memories of Les and treasure the memories of sharing time with him.
Bill Richardson
Posted by Marie Dennis on April 17, 2021
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - Winnie the Pooh

Les, the museum will feel empty without you there, and I can't even imagine what it will be like without your smiling face. But then I think...oh how blessed we all are to have known you and called you a colleague and friend. You were truly a gift to us all.

Missing you so very much.

Your friends at the Burbank Historical Society
Posted by Cindy Benes on April 17, 2021
So many fond memories of Les at The Autry, at the Medicine Cart, luncheons and holiday events. Les was such a kind man who made a difference in so many lives by sharing his knowledge of history with us and all the students who visited The Autry. Thank you Les, Elaine and your family, for the gift of your generous spirit that touched all our lives.  Cindy Benes
Posted by Larry Goodfried on April 17, 2021
We were docents with Les and Elaine at the Autry. Les always has a smile for you and and willing to help out. We will miss him.

Larry and Bobbi Goodfried
Posted by Jim and Myriel Tyree on April 16, 2021
Les was a gentle, amiable man always a pleasure to talk with. His recollections of his long eventful life will remain with us always. We knew him and Elaine through both the Autry Museum in Los Angeles and the Gordon R. Howard Museum in Burbank where we were all docents. 

Myriel and Jim Tyree
Posted by Tom Mead on April 16, 2021
Kindness, Love, and Compassion, for his Family and Friends. A man with many stories to tell. A man who has been blessed with Loving Family more than once in his life. Les was part of my extended family. I will miss his stories, but most of all, I will remember him as my friend.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Dave Blaker on May 16, 2021
Les was one my Scoutmasters in the 70’s and I was close friends with his son Rod in Jr. High. I don’t say this because it’s a memorial page: Les was one of the kindest men I’ve known. One of my fondest memories was when Rod and I asked him to drive us to the then-new Carlsbad Skatepark and he unhesitatingly said yes. A day I will never forget.

Rod and his brother both passed away at a young age, and I hope Les is with them now. A terrible tragedy for such a kind man. I can truly say Les made my early years better than they would have been without his calming guidance and presence…
Posted by Dwight Gillett on May 3, 2021
Les is a true WWII Army Hero. Prior to entering the service, Les was a Boy Scout in Burbank. After he served his military obligation, he returned only to learn that his old scoutmaster was waiting for Les to take over as Scoutmaster. For many years, Les was the ideal Scoutmaster, mentoring countless number of scouts. Two of his Eagle Scouts I know personally. One went on to become a legendary Scoutmaster of the same troop. The other looked upon Les as a father figure. Both became productive young men, as a result of Les' guidance and leadership skills. Les was a charter member of the Autry museum in Griffith Park and one of the best docents on record. He was also a Key volunteer at the Burbank Historical Society museum. His knowledge of Burbank is unparalleled. I will always remember Les as a gentleman, stellar Scoutmaster, excellent volunteer and storyteller and someone who I always look up to. Les touched the lives of so many that each and ever one of us are better citizens, just for having the privilege of being his friend.           "Thank you for your service"   Skip Gillett
Posted by Sue Baldaseroni on May 2, 2021
Les was Don @ my mentor at the Howard museum. He was the most giving man we have ever known from his love of history to love of people. Les was in his element when he and Elaine were touring the kids through museum, answering questions with such ease. You will be missed but remembered forever. 
his Life

My Love


Les Rosenberg
Born - December 6, 1926 - Burbank, CA
Died: -April 8, 2021 - Burbank, CA
 
      A beautiful, kind, loving, compassionate, intelligent man has left his heartbroken and adoring wife and family, friends and neighbors to grieve his leaving.
     Les was widowed in1970 when his first wife, Lee, died at age 36.  They had two sons, Rick and Rod, who inherited an unforgiving disease that also robbed him of them at ages 31 and 36 in 1992 and 1993.
     In 1985 Les met Elaine at a square dance in Glendale. After an incredibly romantic courtship they married in 1987.  For 33 years, eight months, and a couple of weeks together  they traveled the world, ballroom danced, and volunteered.  They were docents at the Autry Museum and Board Members and docents at the Burbank Historical Society.
     Les was, in the late 1940's until the 1960's, a Boy Scout leader EXTRAORDINAIRE of Troop 12. He had the largest troop in California, and took great pride and love in "his" boys, and they called and visited him when they were well into their 70's.  He relished  knowing what fine men they became - doctors, attorneys, executives and much more.  He loved reminiscing about their Scout days  and their life stories.
      Les' dad owned and operated the Photo Art Shop, the first camera store in Burbank, which opened in 1924.  Les worked with his mom and dad in his youth and took over the store in the late 60's and ran it until he retired in 1989.
      He and Elaine were very pleased and proud when in 2019 they were named "Burbank's Outstanding Older American's Volunteers" for that year, and honored at Burbank City Hall and then at a county-wide  event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as only one of two couples that year so designated. Les lived a life of service to his country, as a World War II veteran, and as a leader in his community. He was loved and admired by all who met him.
     He was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, trusted friend and mentor, and he leaves a void which will never be filled.
     He leaves his beloved wife Elaine and adoring family:  Geri, Cheri and Ron, Terri and Eric, Debbi and Jim, Terry and Lou, Jerry and Debbie, Karen.  Grandchildren: Tawny and Mark, Ryan and Karen, Amber, Britney, Brice, Nicholas, Megan, Alexander, Tyler, Kristen.     Great-grandchildren: Dillan, Gennah,  Jeremy, Rachlyn, Ryver, Janae, Maliya, Brady.
     He will never be forgotten and will live on in our hearts forever.
    "So-long" my beautiful husband.  I love you with every part of my being and I will miss you forever. He was comforted and surrounded by his many family members during his transition.
     There will be no services, as per his request.  Those who wish to can "pay it forward", and in lieu of flowers, contribute to the Boy Scouts, the Burbank Historical Society, or any charity of your choice in his name.

 We welcome you adding your memories to this site.


Recent stories

A Burbank Pioneer

Shared by Cindy Benes on April 19, 2021
What a great story about Les' life as a "Burbank Pioneer", and his adventures during wartime and after!  Les really had a remarkable life!  Thank you for sharing it with us!

A Burbank Pioneer

Shared by Elaine Rosenberg on April 18, 2021
There's an old saying that claims "nice guys finish last." That's not true. It's not true in Burbank -- and it's definitely not true when it comes to one of Burbank's early pioneering families, the Rosenbergs.

Rudolf Rosenberg, known as Rudy, came here from Colorado in 1922. By 1924, he opened the "Photo Art Shop" that sold photographic and art supplies. In fact, Rudy was the first occupant of a three-story building on Olive just above San Fernando which also happened to be the first building in Burbank with an elevator. On New Year's Eve of that same year, Rudy married the girl from Security Bank across the street (and the girl of his dreams) Eleanor.

Rudy became an active member of the Burbank community. He served as a fireman with the Burbank Volunteer Fire Department. He was also active in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. But even more importantly Rudy became the official photographer for the City of Burbank and during that period shot photos of major accidents, the big Burbank train wreck, police raids on stills during prohibition, and more.

During the Great Depression, Rudy took many pictures of Burbank and turned them into postcards which sold fairly briskly.  As a result, due to Rudy's resourcefulness and hard work, his family made it through those tough years pretty well.  Today Rudy Rosenberg's outstanding old Burbank postcards and photos dot the walls of the Gordon R. Howard Museum, thanks to Rudy's son, Les Rosenberg, who donated them.

You probably know Les Rosenberg.  And, you can tell that Les' father, Rudy really did do okay during the Depression because Les does not really remember it being too bad at all.  (A lot of people the same age as Les do remember the depression years as being very bad.)  In fact, Les loved growing up here.

When Les talks about his childhood in Burbank, he beams:  "It was a fun town to grow up in!"  As he explains, "You felt free.  No one ever worried about anyone hurting you.  I could ride my bike anywhere in town with my buddies.  My folks had a duplex across from where City Hall is now.  Back then it was an open area with a bandstand in the middle and they held concerts there.  A lot of us kids played on that bandstand.  That was one of my favorite things to do."
   
Another favorite activity for Les had to do with his closest friend.  Les told us,  "My buddy's
father was a preacher at the Methodist Church which was located where the Courthouse is now.  We'd go in there and slide down the banisters, go up into the alcoves...we did all kinds of bad things!  But it was fun."

Another way to have fun...and this is classic Depression-era "stuff"...was to walk down to the train station on Front Street and wave at the "tramps" on the trains.  According to Les, "Every freight train had guys "ridin' the rails" -- that's what we called it -- just going anywhere, looking for work.  We just waved!"  Les didn't even realize what a sad picture that is to us now.  It was just good ol' wholesome fun back then.

Les also loves to recount another tale when he was out playing just a little too late and a cop pulled up and shouted, "Les!  Your folks want you home;  you're late for dinner!"  Then the policeman took Les home. "That's how small the town was" said Les.  "Everyone knew everyone".  More innocent fun included spinning on chairs in the local barber shop and visiting the local dog biscuit factory and chewing on the canine treats.

World War II eventually came along.  One big change was no more playing.  As soon as school let out in the afternoon, Les now showed up at his father's store.  The store needed help.  Les recalls that his photographer father had the job of taking all the Lockheed employees' pictures to make their ID badges.  Since Lockheed employed more than 90,000 employees 24/7 in Burbank during the war, you can imagine how big a job that was!

World War II also meant dim-outs (also called black-outs) at night.  Lights could not be on as people feared the west coast might be bombed and the fear was not paranoia.  This was war.  With Lockheed right here building bombers to fight the enemy, people had to be prepared.  Les himself was trained as part of his work as a Boy Scout to be a messenger on bicycle.  His job would have been to deliver messages to the "bigwigs" in case of an emergency that caused all roads to be closed.  (Luckily, it didn't happen.)

Les also has memories of search lights in the hills, air raids if an unscheduled plane entered our airspace, the way Disney camouflaged Lockheed and, of course, rationing.  "Meat was VERY expensive," Les remembers.  "It took a LOT of coupons to buy a steak!"

When Les was in his senior year of high school, he had to fill his first period slot and couldn't decide what to take.  After all, he'd already taken all his required courses; what to choose?  In P.E. kids no longer played baseball or football.  The boys only ran obstacle courses to prepare them for the military.  But finally for first period, Les decided to take typing.  "Wonder why...Mmmm...we hear that most of the students in that class were female!)  To his own surprise, Les turned out to be an absolute whiz at typing.  Little did he know how valuable that skill would become later when he, too, went off to war!

President Roosevelt died while Les was new to the Army and Harry S. Truman was sworn in as President.  After basic training, Les and his fellow young soldiers were all set to be shipped off to the Philippines, but then President Truman issued a directive.  Too many of the 18-year-old soldiers were dying in much higher proportions than the others.  It was felt this was because they were not trained fully enough.  So Truman called a halt to 18-year-olds being sent overseas.  Suddenly young Les was sent not to the Philippines, but to Wyoming.

It was there that Les, like all soldiers, was tested and due to his outstanding typing skills (and we think, his brain!) scored at the level of an MS405 - which was the very top score.  That typing class sure paid off...and it would continue to pay off throughout Les' years of service.

The war was coming to an end.  Victory in Europe (VE Day) occurred in the Spring of 1945.  A few months later, Japan surrendered.  That's when Les was sent to Japan to help with the occupying and rebuilding of the battered country.  AND it was Les' MS405 ranking (for which Les thanks his typing class) that led him to one of the best, most plum jobs in Japan:  to work in General Douglas MacArthur's inner circle.

After a series of promotions which took him from earning $21 per month to over $200, Les was soon based in Tokyo's elegant, opulent Imperial Hotel which had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Picture staying in a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons Hotel -- that's what it was like, if not better.  Remember, Les was an enlisted man, among his peers even if not by rank, surely by skill and smarts.  Les could even go into The Officers' Club!  Les lived in a posh hotel room.  His uniforms were cleaned by the hotel staff.  Since Les hired a French man living in Japan to stock the hotel bars, there was some of the best liquor in the world there!  (See how smart Les is?)

Les was even assigned his very own interpreter.  He was a young man about Les' age who spoke perfect English.  This interpreter had actually grown up in Southern California and he and Les even once had the same Photo Shop teacher!  But the interpreter's parents had renounced their US citizenship when they were all sent to a Japanese internment camp.  So after the war, their whole family was deported back to Japan.

At the Imperial Hotel, Les was in charge of supplies, money exchanges ("Everyone wanted dollars, not yen!") and the like.  He got to know General MacArthur some, and saw him in action often.  "He was stern," Les noted, "but he treated the Japanese with respect."  Every day at 2:00 exactly (you could set your watch by it) the General would leave his office.  Just before he'd take off in the chauffeur-driven limo, he'd stop outside the doors and strike a pose with his famous overcoat, hat and pipe.  He did that because crowds of Japanese citizens gathered daily to snap pictures of MacArthur (called "Gaijin Shogun") and he didn't let them down.

Eventually Les was able to come home to Burbank, but he recalls his military days with sweet nostalgia.  "It was a wonderful job," says Les, but we have found that Les seems to have a cup-half-full attitude about everything.  When he returned to the states, he was asked to lead his old Boy Scout Troop.  Les was well remembered back home for his enthusiasm for and belief in the Boy Scouts and thus became, at age 21, one of the youngest Scout leaders around.

Les was a popular, resourceful leader who figured out a way to raise enough money so that all his Scouts could go to Hawaii for two weeks!  Other Scout leaders and the BSA management were left with their mouths agape but very impressed.  It was a trip that those Scouts have never forgotten.  As the Scouts boarded the first nonstop flight from Burbank to Hawaii, the media even covered it.

When Les began leading his troop, there were 30 boys in it.  When Les finally "retired" from Scouting, it had 109!  Again, Scout leaders everywhere were in awe.  Les still hears from his long-ago Scouts.  Because Les started leading at just 21, there are retired men -- even men in their 70s -- who have kept in touch with their revered Scout leader, Les.  It thrills Les to this day.

Les tells us he devoted a lot of time to Scouting, but then Les is the devoted type.  He took over his father's camera store and ran it for years and years.  With his wife, Elaine, he has also been involved in the Autry Museum for the past 25 years.  And of course, Les and Elaine have been very active Board Members of the Burbank Historical Society virtually since its inception.  

The Rosenbergs have essentially traveled the world, to more countries than one can count.  Every place Les has visited he has enjoyed.  Les says that even in a place like France where some say they don't like Americans, Les says he's "Never met anyone who was bad -- everyone has been helpful.  Everyone is nice!"

Speaking of nice people -- it's Les.  Why does Les speak with such joy about his adventures?  Because he is a joy.  He is the common denominator.  Just like his father, Rudy, Les has always been an active member of the Burbank community and we are all better off for it.

Nice guys finish last?  Not the Rosenbergs!

                 Written by Susan Hodgson in 2015 for the Burbank Historical Society