Chaparral Artists has been home to many wonderful people. Everyone does their part, just by attending meetings and supporting art in their own way. Some have gone above and beyond when it came to supported Chaparral. When we lose a member of this family, we will do our part to remember their impact on the health and vitality of Chaparral here, on our Remembrance page.

Muffin Hill

Written by Patricia Quandel

Occasionally a person comes along who touches the lives of a whole community. In the case of Muffin Hill the community is the artists and art lovers she came in contact with. Her commitment to the arts and artists impacted people throughout the Morongo Basin and far beyond.

Muffin had the knack of seeing promise in an artist and convincing that person to let her display their work thus giving the artist confidence, exposure and a nudge toward creating more works of art. I was one of those people. In 2009 Muffin convinced me to let her display some of my photographs. Over the years she displayed my photographs at the Hi-Desert Medical Center, the Adult & Senior Services Center, the Hi-Desert Water District, and the Joshua Basin Water District. This exposure gave me the confidence to begin entering art shows and opening my own photography business. My story isn’t unique. At the January 2013 Chaparral Artists meeting Muffin announced that she had exhibited 2000 pieces of art since the beginning of 2006. At that time she also announced that she would be retiring in 2014.

Muffin was the volunteer art coordinator for various public buildings in San Bernardino County. She was featured in an article by Lou Gerhardt in the 2011 February/March Sunrunner magazine and she received many awards for her volunteer and charitable contributions. Besides the contributions that many of us are aware of there were also contributions that she made anonymously. These are just a few of her more recent awards. In 2012 Muffin was honored by the Morongo Basin Senior Support Center for the volunteer work that she did for the seniors. The same year Chaparral Artists presented her with a plaque and lifetime membership for her service to Chaparral Artists members. In 2013 she was one of 10 Morongo Basin women honored by Congressman Paul Cook for their accomplishments and contributions to their community.

Muffin passed away at age 83 shortly before her planned final Water/Water Show at the Hi-Desert Water District. The Art Colony of Morongo Valley as well as other friends of Muffin were instrumental in making her final show a success. There was art by 36 area artists along with a photo tribute to Muffin. Those who attended the reception were many of Muffin’s friends which included quite a few well known artists. The show will be on display through July 14.

The following are just a few of the people whose lives Muffin touched.

Stephanie Salter - Muffin Hill's contribution to the arts was immeasurable, contributing her own art as well as supporting and displaying the art of so many other artists, including that of myself and my husband. The loss of Muffin Hill will be felt throughout Southern California and beyond. In our hearts, Muffin, you'll always remain.

Vickie Culver - I am so broken hearted to find out that my friend Muffin Hill passed away. She was such a fantastic lady. She helped teach me confidence in myself as an artist. I will miss her so much. I know that I will always feel valued as an artist because of her. The art community has lost a treasure.

Bonnie Rainey - I just met her a short time ago but knew she was a very special lady. I am so sorry for your loss and for all of her friends and family.

Snake Jagger - So sad to hear this news even though it was coming. So very sad, I’m honored to have known her, even if for a short time. She was a very special human being.

Janis Commentz - She has been a caring and persistent supporter of artists in our community for many years. Many of you know her because of her love for her animals--especially kitties. She has made sure the hospital walls are filled with beautiful art! We will miss you, Muffin!

Editor – Muffin’s beloved cats have been given a home in Los Angeles. She was a very special lady!

Janine Cleveland - Muffin Hill was one of the nicest, sweetest business women I have ever met. I really loved her after getting to know her. I'm sad she is gone but maybe to a better place!

Chuck Caplinger - Sorry to hear about Muffin’s passing. I have fond memories of our shared friendship. She loved art and her artist friends, and she would go out of her way to assist and promote them.

Bonnie C. Brady - Rest in Peace, dear Muffin - thanks for all you have done for the arts community.

Susan Abbott - Godspeed - peace and blessings to her soul and condolences to you and the beloved community to which she was so vital.

Norma Mackie - So sorry to hear of her passing. A very classy lady!

Dianne Fratto Swella - She will be missed. God bless her!

Mary Maxson - She indeed was a very special lady. HUGS...

Herman Platzke - Thank you, Muffin, for kind words and encouragement

Hilary Sloane - She was the spirit of the High Desert.

Andy Woods - RIP Muffin. A true and strong advocate for the arts. I was always amazed at her ability to keep giving and doing so much. Amazing tenacity that is a shining example of a community supporter.

Tami Wood - Muffin was a firecracker and absolutely loved supporting artists. She will be missed but not forgotten.

Lori Herbel - Muffin's light, as bright as the brightest star...

Dianne Stroble

Written by Beverly Schmuckle

Dianne Stroble grew up in Courtland, Ohio and attended Ohio State University. She had a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and earned her teaching certificate. Dianne married Mike (Mickey) Stroble in December 1977 and became a mother to son Matthew in 1984. Dianne and family moved to Yucca Valley in 1989. She taught school for the 29 Palms School District while managing Denny’s. Dianne then took the position of Assistant Manager and later the General Manager of several California Airport restaurants. Following a work related accident in Oakland, CA Dianne decided to retire. To keep busy she earned her real estate license and pursued her love of art and painting. In 2011 the Stroble family relocated back to Yucca Valley. To continue her love of art she joined the Yucca Valley Community Center Open Studio Art Workshop which led her to discover Chaparral Artists, the Morongo Art Colony and several other painting groups in the area. She loved participating in the local art shows and taking painting classes.

Dianne always held steadfast to her faith and loved teaching little ones in Sunday School. She would take every opportunity that arose when it came to teaching little ones. She was so proud of her family and loved being grandmother to little Azriel. The YV Open Studio Art Workshop won’t be the same without her contagious laugh and fun-loving spirit. We were blessed to have her in our lives.

Kathleen Perry

Member of Chaparral Artists for over 25 years, Kathleen passed away August 28th, 2015. She was honored as a lifetime member for her work as an artist and she was well liked throughout the Morongo Basin.

Daisy Pirot

Daisy Pirot, Lifetime member, passed on February 13, 2017.

She was a fabulous artist working in pastels and watercolor paint, her favorite subjects being flowers, birds and Western scenes. She belonged to both the Chaparral Artists Guild and the Morongo Valley Art Colony and won several art competition prizes.

Marcia Pealstrom

April 30 1936 - May 25, 2021

Marcia Pealstrom passed away just a few weeks after her 85th birthday.

She was a member of a couple local art groups.  In her earlier years she was involved with the Cub Scouts as a den leader.  Later she would move on to being a member of the Yucca Valley Parent, Teacher, Student Association and at one point was the president of the group.

For a few years she volunteered at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum of Yucca Valley and helped out at the senior center.

Marcia and her husband Earl moved to Yucca Valley in 1967 and lived in the same house until her passing.

Carolyn Nye

Written by the Center for Healthy Generations

It is with great sorrow that we are letting you know that our great volunteer Carolyn Nye passed away yesterday afternoon [August 19, 2021] after a long struggle with health issues! Carolyn Nye loved working with children! Her first big project was Science Camp, and the kids had a blast! She loved playing Bunco, teaching her classes, working the desk, and networking with people. She gave of her time when we were closed during the Covid shutdown, helping to make masks, and we did keep the plants alive! She was kind, and generous with her time! We will miss her very much and our hearts go out to her family, Larry, Katherine and her son.

Raini Armstrong - I miss her energy and her big heart! I knew her best from watercolor class where she was enthusiastic with the compositions we were working with. She was adventurous and willing to try potentially challenging watercolor scenes, and I certainly looked forward to coordinating future youth art projects with her, if and when she had time. I miss her!