First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
He was referred to as the “mayor of San Marino” during the 60 years he spent in this city, and now, friends and family members are remembering Paul Elieff through donations to a memorial fund that has been established in his memory.
Elieff died on Oct. 19, leaving the community in shock and the city of San Marino a decidedly less friendly place, according to those familiar with the beloved figure.
The subsequent outpouring of affection has resulted in the “Little Paul” Elieff Memorial Project Fund, which has collected donations since shortly after his passing. Already, more than $26,000 has been collected in memory of “Little Paul,” as he was known, according to Dennis Kneier, Elieff’s neighbor for almost 40 years and the treasurer of the fundraising effort.
“It’s an amount which I wouldn’t believe, except it’s true,” Kneier said.
Contributions will be used only for projects in San Marino, according to Kneier, with each bearing a plaque in honor of “Little Paul.” The fund will be administered by a yet-to-be seated memorial committee, with oversight by the board of San Marino Rotary Charities.
“Paul’s life was all about his love for the city of San Marino,” said Peter Elieff, Paul’s brother, who made a founding contribution to the memorial fund. “He loved all who protected, lived, admired and cared for his city. Paul was not only the kindest soul I have ever known, but also possessed the most genuine heart as well.”
A lifelong resident of San Marino, Paul Elieff was a ubiquitous figure who was known by many in the city. His daily routine took him on walks from his home on Hampton Road to — in no particular order — Lacy Park, City Hall, the Crowell Public Library, the San Marino fire and police departments and the San Marino Center.
Paul Elieff was recognizable by his ever-present smile, faux tuxedo T-shirts, ball cap and pant pockets overloaded with a days’ supply of Dr Pepper or Diet Coke.
Donations are tax deductible under 501(c)(3) and may be mailed to “Little Paul” Elieff Memorial Project Fund; c/o San Marino Rotary Charities, 1425 Hampton Road, San Marino, Calif. 91108. Please contact Kneier with any questions at (626) 673-0946.