Her last name instantly associates her with Donald Bren and the world of Orange County development; she was the stepmother of the Irvine Co. chairman, who remembered her fondly following her death. Trevor Bren had donated $500,000 in a naming grant for a UC Irvine theater; following her death in 2004, the university named its entire arts school after her.
She was known for working intensively with young actors at the school, and was highly involved in its development. She also was a noted painter.
THEY NURTURED US
MERLE HATLEBERG, 83
One local woman is remembered for the joy she felt in feeding the masses.
Through her Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, Merle Hatleberg continued a legacy founded by her mother at a West Virginia boarding house, where coal miners were given sack lunches.