Daniel Muñoz, a founding board member and recently elected president of the Boyle Heights Historical Society, passed away on July 12 at the age of 68. In honor of Danny, who was so instrumental in the establishment of the organization, the Society wants all of its members and others who are interested in Boyle Heights history to know that he will be greatly missed by the Boyle Heights Historical Society and hundreds of other friends. He was a dedicated preservationist and historian who loved Los Angeles and California history.
His passion for Los Angeles history and California history was evident through his membership and participation in numerous organizations such as the Associated Historical Societies of Los Angeles County, for which he served as president; the Los Angeles City Historical Society, for which he was also a past president; and many other local historical groups, including The Westerners, Los Angeles Corral; The Los Angeles Conservancy; San Fernando Valley Historical Society; Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society; Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley; Conejo Valley Historical Society; Southern California Railway Plaza Association, Inc.; Culver City Historical Society; Historical Society of Monterey Park; Chinese Historical Society of Southern California; Little Landers Historical Society and others. He was also a member of other state and national organizations.
In 2005, the Boyle Heights Historical Society Coordinating Committee, reached out to Daniel to help start their organization in Boyle Heights. Daniel told Diana Ybarra, the coordinator of the effort, that he had tried to start an historical society several years ago since he knew Boyle Heights had many historical structures and an amazing history. He was thrilled to be our mentor and help guide us. He also introduced our organization to his dear friend, Hynda Rudd, who had retired from the City of Los Angeles as their archivist. The Boyle Heights Historical Society was very fortunate to have both Daniel and Hynda serving as mentors and guiding us throughout initial formation.
Moving forward, Daniel then engaged our organization in activities that introduced us to and linked us with numerous other historical societies, museums, historians and so much more. As president of the Associated Historical Societies of Los Angeles County, he held quarterly meetings at various historical sites throughout Los Angeles County and would share the interesting historical information through their newsletter. The Boyle Heights Historical Society hosted an AHSLAC meeting in our community at the historic Linda Vista Hospital Building (old Santa Fe Hospital). The board of directors were invited to tour the roof top and enjoyed a view that allowed them to see all of Boyle Heights looking north to the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains, west to downtown Los Angeles, and far south and east. This would not have happened had it not been for Daniel connecting our organization with the larger network of historians and museums.
Although Daniel was busy, he always had time for a telephone call. He was extraordinarily generous with his time and expertise. He was passionate about history of Los Angeles. He was excited to share the history with everyone who was interested. He was very soft spoken and one would never realize the extent of knowledge he had about the history of California. This knowledge is importantly reflected in the large archive of regional history that he created and stored in the beautiful Victorian-era home in Angeleno Heights that he and his husband, David Hlovich, lovingly restored and lived in since the 1980s.
Daniel had been recently elected as president of the Boyle Heights Historical Society after serving as vice-president for several years. Sadly, shortly after his election, Daniel was in the hospital and very ill and was unable to fulfill his duties as the newly elected president. It is a great loss to our organization to learn that he had passed away. However, his inspiration will live on every day in the work the Boyle Heights Historical Society will do and hopefully Daniel will smile down upon us with approval.
Rest in Peace our dear, beloved Danny.
The Boyle Heights Historical Society