Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, August 4, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:5


Mountain View News Saturday, August 4, 2018 

WALKING SIERRA MADRE... The Social Side By Deanne Davis


Beloved Staffer Murdered

What began as reporting on a tragic murder-suicide in neighboring 
Arcadia, turned out to be devastating news for employees of the City of 
Sierra Madre and the many seniors, community members and friends 
when it was discovered that the victim was Sierra Madre Senior Services 
staffer, Cherry Liu. 

Arcadia officers responded to a ‘shots fired’ call early morning on August 
1, 2018 in the area of Sunset Blvd and Okoboji Drive. When they 
arrived on seen at 8:20 a.m., they discovered two individuals, a man and 
woman, on the ground in the alley in the 800 block of Sunset Blvd. Both 
had gunshot wounds, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s 
Department who were assisting Arcadia police at the scene. Because 
of the city's proximity to the crime scene, Sierra Madre PD were also 

 The woman, later identified as Cherry Liu, was pronounced dead at the scene and the man, her estranged 
husband Mel Liu was taken to an area hospital where he also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 
according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. It is suspected that the man shot his wife prior to turning 
the gun on himself. 

Cherry has a son who was not at home at the time of the incident.

According to sources, Cherry had taken off Wednesday and Thursday to attend to family matters. Her mother, 
(Cherry was an only child) was having a medical procedure on Wednesday and on Thursday there was a 
hearing scheduled regarding her divorce. She was killed on Wednesday morning as she prepared to go to the 
hospital with her mother. But a call came into City Hall on Thursday morning from a person identified as 
the sister of Cherry's estranged husband requesting personnel information and announcing that Cherry had 
been murdered the day before.

Devastated by the news, grief counselors were immediately dispatched to City Hall to help Cherry's co-workers 
deal with the tragedy.

At press time, no additional information was available regarding services for Ms. Liu. K. McGuire/S.
Henderson - MVNews

Cherry Liu


The residents 
of Sierra Madre 
and the surrounding 
cities have received calls from 
a 323 area code requesting donations 
on behalf of the SIERRA MADRE FIRE 

Our fire department has not and will 
not solicit donations over the phone. 
From time to time a request may come up, 
if that is necessary, representatives from 
the fire department will make that request 
in person. Please DO NOT agree to any 
phone solicitations that you receive from 
callers that are representing the City of 
Sierra Madre Police or Fire Departments.

“Lew Watanabe must hold an image of beauty within 
him. He came into our garden and transformed the 
landscape. Lew found an old stone in the yard and 
upended it to make it art. Then he made the stone a 
fountain where hummingbirds come to bathe. Lew 
highlighted the on-going life of the garden with an 
array of Japanese maples which lose their leaves in 
fall to return with green shoots in spring. Other 
plants he organized in a way that invited a sense of 
peace. Lew brought to our garden the mystery of 
art and with his touch an inscrutable essence of the 
inscrutable East. We are deeply appreciative.” Jack 
& Maude Ann Taylor

 “It was remarkable how Lew constructed the 
garden with its dry river bed, granite water basin 
fed by a bamboo pipe, varied oriental trees, plants 
and grasses with a traditional Japanese gate; all 
without a visible plan as the painting artist would 
create their image without an outline. Lew is truly 
a remarkable creative artist.” Dr. & Mrs. Robert P. 

 So, a couple of weeks ago I found myself having 
this strange thing going on with my left hand. 
No, I wasn’t having a heart attack. It kind of went 
numb but when shaken vigorously, would return 
to business as usual. As I like to hold my Kindle 
book in that hand, it was a little annoying. Taking 
myself down to see our own Dr. John Talevich 
at his Life Works! Chiropractic Center right 
there on South Baldwin just a few steps north of 
the Post Office, I had hopes that he could fix me 
immediately as he has done in the past. I was a 
few minutes early and had to fill out a form - have 
you ever noticed that no matter how long you’ve 
been going to somebody, they always have a new 
form for you to fill out. Anyway, while filling out 
my form I noticed this really nifty coffee table type 
book entitled, “Lew Watanabe...Master of Stone 
and Light.” I promptly stopped filling out my form 
and started leafing through this really terrific book 
about Sierra Madre’s dear friend, Lew Watanabe, 
who is now walking around heaven, no longer 
wheelchair bound, building beautiful fountains 
there. This book, dated 2005, by Kathy Childs 
with Del Weston, is filled with photos of much of 
Lew’s work, and comments by the folks fortunate 
enough to have their very own piece of his work. 
After seeing Dr. T – yes, he made me feel better 
– I went right home and ordered the book from 
Amazon. The copy that arrived for me was actually 
signed by Lew! Looking at these pictures reveals 
what Lew’s particular gift was: the ability to create 
an environment of peace, serenity and tranquility. 

 “Lew took the use of stone to a new level by 
incorporating the stone into the garden and having 
it weep by plumbing the water up through the 
stone, creating a soft overflow of water over the 
piece causing it to sparkle and shine as the water 
moves over the surface.” Stepping stones, ponds, 
Japanese maples, Koi, water plants all add to the 
feeling of peace and serenity

 The work Lew did at our own Sierra Madre 
School, rebuilding the environment there after 
years of vandalism and decay was simply awesome. 
The Goodwill Garden was discovered by students, 
buried under rubble. If you don’t know, here’s the 
story...In the early 1930s, when a new elementary 
school was built at Highland Avenue and Auburn 
Street, the parents in the sizeable Japanese 
community of Sierra Madre created a Japanese 
Garden to thank the city for welcoming their 
children. During World War II the garden was 
covered over with dirt and converted to a Victory 
Garden. In the 1990s because of the curiosity of 
students, and through the guidance of faculty, 
and the talents and generosity of the Japanese 
community, the garden was restored by Lew 
Watanabe. The picture is of Lew with friends when 
the new garden was finished.

 We are also blessed here in town with The 
Weeping Wall in Memorial Park honoring veterans 
of our community. I sat on the bench there and 
enjoyed the peace during the July 3rd pre-parade 
party in the park. There’s something about that 
water flowing over the stone that just calms the 

 I guess I just wanted to take a minute to 
remember a splendid person with a gift for beauty, 
peace and harmony who lived among us for a time 
and left beauty that will last forever. 

 My book page: Deanne Davis 

Kindle books of all sorts and hardcover “Tablespoon 
of Love” are on there, as is “Star of Wonder.”

 Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! 
Take a look!


 Follow me on Twitter, too!

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: