Local Obituaries

A one-time Communist, she lived to 100 fighting for California seniors

Nancy Lund
Nancy Lund

Nancy Rosenfield Lund, a senior activist who served four terms on the California Senior Legislature, died of natural causes at home Saturday. She was 100 years old.

Lund had been politically active during her years in Southern California. When she and her husband, Richard, relocated to Plumas County in 1975, she focused her energy on issues facing rural elders. She energized the local AARP chapter, launched senior summits, served as a senior ombudsman for healthcare issues and, with Richard, made senior nutrition programs lively community centers.

Her activities around the needs and expectations of senior citizens energized the community and the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, said Joyce Scroggs, a former Plumas County Supervisor. "She insisted that we all be aware of what was going on," Scroggs said.

As a member of the Senior Legislature, created to advise the California State Legislature, Mrs. Lund brought issues pertinent to people over 60 years old to the attention of the officials elected to what she called "the Junior Legislature." One of them was making in-home support services an entitlement, a proposal that was signed into law in 1986.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1917, Lund was the third of eight children. When the family moved to Southern California after her high school graduation, she attended UCLA for a year. During World War II, when women were welcomed into the work place, she found jobs as a draftsperson, eventually designing details on steel bridges.

Lund was motivated to join the Communist Party in the 1940s after seeing her father's chain of grocery stores "crushed by capitalism," said her son Eric. She was called to testify before the California Committee on Un-American Activities but was not cited for contempt. Later she directed her energy to Democratic Party activities, including campaigning for various candidates and issues at the local, state and national levels.

Although those politics made her a political minority in Plumas County, she embraced the people of the rural area and dedicated herself to serving the community. For more than a decade she and Richard organized games for elementary-school students on the last day of school.

"She believed that being part of a community is how responsible people live their lives," said her daughter Radia Massoud.

Lund served as a director of the Indian Valley Community Services District. When the only local hospital closed in 2003, she was instrumental in creating a special authority to provide emergency ambulance services to the residents of Indian Valley. She was also a charter member of the Plumas League of Woman Voters, coordinating forums on health care and statewide ballot measures.

Lund put her drafting skills to work designing houses throughout Plumas County. She described this chapter of her life in Housework, a self-published account released a month before her death. She also wrote In the Land of the Shoes, an autobiography published in 2012.

In addition to her son Eric, of Greenville, and daughter Radia Massoud, of Spain, Lund is survived by son Mahmud, of England, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A gathering in her honor is planned for late spring.

The family suggests any donations in her name be made to a civil liberties or environment organization, or to a favorite charity.