Senior in Action – Kathy Garver

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 – Kathy Garver

as told to Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen with background information in italics courtesy of Steve Moyer Public Relations


The 62nd Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival will be held on the Village Green at Euclid Street and Main Street in Garden Grove, CA on Memorial Day Weekend, Friday – Monday, May 27 – 30, 2022. For details, visit

Kathy Garver, best known for her starring role as “Cissy” in the long-running CBS international television hit, “Family Affair,” will serve as the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the parade.    “I’m really looking forward to being the Celebrity Grand Marshal.  I am 76 years old, but won’t be playing any trombones in the big parade.  My stepson Scott will ride in the parade with me.  Scott is 6’7” tall, and I’m 5’1”, so you may spot him first.” The Festival’s Parade, which is themed “Celebrating Essential Workers,” will feature celebrities, Garden Grove civic leaders and organizations, Miss Garden Grove and her Court, bands, equestrians, specialty characters and floats.  The parade will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022 starting at 10:00 a.m.

Kathy Garver: “I’m a very active Senior, I must say.  This fall, I will publish my 4th and 5th books, TV Dinner TV with updated classic recipes (think turkey meatloaf and cauliflower mashed potatoes), and The Family Affairs Scrapbook.  I just finished recording an audiobook by my 85-year-old friend, Dr. Fred Eichelman titled Mrs. Hudson’s Cat.     I’ve recorded more than 80 audiobooks, and won 4 Audies for my audio recordings.  I recorded Patty Duke’s memoir, In the Presence of Greatness; My Sixty Year Journey as an Actress, co-written with William J. Jankowski.  She would have recorded it herself if she were still alive.  I appeared in the Patty Duke Show as her friend Monica.“

“I’ve done voiceovers for a number of animated shows.  I’m the voice of Firestar in the TV animated series Spiderman and His Amazing Friends, and enjoy autographing the Firestar action figure at Comic-Con.  At the Strawberry Festival, I will autograph Starfire action figures, photos, and copies of my books, which are available for purchase as well as my line of “Cissy” candles.  My first book was Holiday Recipes for A Family Affair, which includes a recipe for Strawberry Trifle – perfect for the Strawberry Festival!  It’s very easy to make and guests who stop by the booth at the festival can pick up a free recipe.”

“I was asked to serve as spokesperson for Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho – astride a horse! I had not ridden in years so I took riding lessons at Silver Lining Ranch in Agoura Hills to be well prepared.  In the 1950s when I was a child actor, we filmed many westerns so I am comfortable around horses. That Silverwood photo shoot was fun; that horse was more afraid of me than I was of him, so I used my horse whisperer skills.  You can see the photo on my Facebook page.    There will be equestrians riding horses in the Strawberry Festival parade, but I will not be one of them.”

“I was born in Long Beach; a California girl. When I was 10 months old, my parents moved to Baldwin Hills where we lived until I was 11.  I attended a Catholic elementary school and Emerson Hills Middle School in Beverly Hills.  My father was an architect who built homes in Beverly Hills, and my mother was a stage mom. We moved to San Bernardino where I graduated from Pacific Hills High School. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA in Speech, minor in Psychology, as well as a UCLA Master’s Degree in Theater Arts.  I once thought I wanted to become a lawyer, but had a change of heart and stuck with what I’d been doing since the age of 3; acting.  I sang in the musicals My Fair Lady, and in River Song: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I also taught classes on audio narration and voice-overs.  You can read about my multi-faceted career on my website at”

“Thirty years ago, my husband David Travis and I bought a condo in Palm Springs together with one of my brothers.  I used to ride the tram up to the mountaintop in Palm Springs to go walking or cross-country skiing when there was snow.  So many celebrities escaped Los Angeles and moved to Palm Springs; Liberace, Bob Hope, Sonny Bono.  Did you know it was Sonny Bono’s idea to place celebrity stars on Palm Canyon Boulevard? In 1995, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California Walk of Stars was dedicated in my honor.”

“On May 3, 2022 David and I celebrate 41 years of marriage.  Our son Reid Garver Travis is my heart; so smart and funny. Reid helps me in the technology arena, so fans can follow me on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I haven’t slowed down, so when I want to relax, I love to exercise or spend time in my garden.  I just finished hanging a new sign, Kathy’s Magical Garden, near my bench surrounded by pots of iris, tulips and daffodils. We planted ficus trees for privacy, and vines with pink trumpet blooms along the walls.  The gardener helped design gravel paths and stepping stones illumined with solar light. I thoroughly enjoy this truly magical oasis.”

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is a four-day FREE Admission event.  Meet and Greet Celebrity Autograph Signings will be on Saturday, May 28th beginning around 1:00 p.m.

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