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Ann Dorgelo, 63; Longtime Member of Water Board

November 21, 2005|Myrna Oliver | Times Staff Writer

Ann Dorgelo, conservationist and longtime member of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board of directors, has died. She was 63.

Dorgelo died of cancer Thursday in Agoura Hills.

A staunch advocate of educating local schoolchildren about water conservation, Dorgelo retired from the water district board earlier this month because of her declining health.

She had served since 1983 and held several offices on the board, including president.

Dorgelo had represented the water district's Division 5, covering most of Agoura Hills, since 1983. Her husband Ben Dorgelo, who died in 1999, had held the position from 1974 until she succeeded him.

Along with education, Dorgelo worked for environmentally friendly ways to provide services and facilities to the growing area. In 1994, she helped establish the district's $50-million composting plant, which recycles sludge into fertilizer.

Population in the 122-square-mile Las Virgenes water district, between Woodland Hills and Westlake Village, increased from 3,000 to more than 63,000 during Dorgelo's tenure on the board.

She won several contentious elections to continue her four-year terms.

The seats are prized in the community because the board not only sets water and sewage tax rates, but also controls area growth by regulating placement of water and sewer lines and allocating water and sanitation services.

A native of Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, Dorgelo immigrated to Alberta, Canada, where she was married.

She and her husband moved to Los Angeles in 1963 when he began a job with the Los Angeles Times' advertising department. They moved to Agoura in 1967 and became advocates for adequate water supplies, sewage treatment facilities and roads in the area.

Dorgelo is survived by her daughters, Kathrin Smith, Margrit Dorgelo and Cristin Dorgelo; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be sent to the Carole Hoffs Bos Teacher Education Scholarship, in care of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 32111 Watergate Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361.

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