Senior in Action – Grant Rahn

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action – Grant Rahn

Grant Rahn and his wife Susan started their family-owned business, Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing, LLC in 1976, the same year they married.  Grant had worked in the furniture refinishing industry since 1967, and graduated from CSU Fullerton with a degree in Interior Design.  While his eyes lingered on Susan gracefully descending a staircase at church one day, Grant asked a friend, “Who’s that girl?!”  He courted her until she agreed to marry him – a partnership that’s lasted 43 years and counting.

Grant and Susan have two children, and six grandchildren.  Son Nathan works full-time at Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing and holds a BS degree from Biola University in Business Administration Accounting. Their daughter Janelle and her family live in Massachusetts.

Grant talked about his family. “My twin brother Dale lives in Kansas City, and my older brother David has a home in Newport Beach.  My twin and I are both highly energized, like my mom.  She was a tough German gal, always busy.  She was a prolific writer, and singing was her passion. She and my dad moved from Wisconsin to Compton, California when they grew tired of the snow.  Mom was an energetic Registered Nurse, and an educator who taught nursing in downtown LA.  My dad designed fire sprinkler systems.  Dale and I inherited my father’s inventiveness.  Dale travels the world installing custom-designed butterfly enclosures and commercial greenhouses.  My inventions exist in the shop, such as the downdraft sanding table, which keeps sawdust in check.”

“My parents moved the family to Whittier when Dale and I were six months old.  In high school, Dale was a distance runner, and I played water polo.  My teachers didn’t have high hopes for my future; I was your classic bad boy.  But I think they would eat their words to see this business we’ve created to help people restore their beloved furniture.”

“I still work in the shop; sanding, stripping, finishing and building furniture.  Susan handles the books.  We attend insurance conventions to demonstrate custom restoration and refinishing work we do to repair treasured pieces that have been damaged by fire, flood or moving.”

When asked about hobbies outside of work, Grant smiled.  He and Susan walk 5 miles a day.  Grant is 67 and an avid long-distance bicyclist, and has competed for the past 29 years in the Solvang Century Ride.  His wife said Grant postponed his second knee replacement until two weeks after the Solvang cycling event so as not to miss competing with his friends.  Susan is sous chef in the kitchen because Grant enjoys experimenting with meats and fish at the stove, barbecue and smoker.  He just finished a ten-year project of building a 1933 Ford pick-up from chassis and cab. Grant is an exemplary Senior in Action!

If you have been thinking about restoring or refinishing a family heirloom, contact Rahn’s Furniture Refinishing at 562-921-4922 or check their website


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