Laguna Loses Elegant Grand Dame

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By Eric Jessen, Special to the Independent

1.Celine and Lloyd Milne in 2005
 Celine and Lloyd Milne in 2005

Celine Theresa Konzal Milne, who for several decades managed the venerable Marion Milne Real Estate Company with her beloved husband, Lloyd, was laid to rest alongside her sisters, Delores and Marian, at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery overlooking Irvine Regional Park on April 15, 2015. The gravesite is near that of her parents, John and Lilian Konzal.

Her father was a residential land developer in Detroit, where he named streets after his daughters. In 1932 they moved to Orange County and became avocado ranchers in Orange Park Acres and later lived in a grand Victorian home at 720 N. Main St., in Santa Ana.

Born in Detroit on June 15, 1927, Celine Milne died peacefully on March 27, 2015, at her Laguna Beach home, just shy of her 88th birthday.

She first met Lloyd Milne in 1952 while working at a Santa Ana law firm. He took her on a date to meet his mom in Laguna Beach. He had his eyes set on her, but Celine had other ambitions and moved away, first to San Francisco and then to Hawai’i. Sixteen years passed before she and Lloyd were married in 1968.

Lloyd’s mom, Marian, who founded the prominent Laguna Beach real estate firm in 1946, often told Lloyd that he and Celine would eventually be together “when the time was right.”

Celine was the second youngest of four children whose births spanned a remarkable 21 years. She is survived by her younger brother, James Konzal of Leucadia, numerous nieces and nephews and their children, and Lloyd’s two sons from a previous marriage.

Milne’s relevance to Laguna Beach history is important. At Marion Milne Real Estate she played a key role in managing many properties of old Laguna families who were more interested in getting stable tenants rather than high rents. As a result, many of their tenants were able to save the money to buy their homes in Laguna, stay in town and make significant contributions to Laguna Beach and the surrounding area.

Beneath her striking appearance and remarkably elegant and stately demeanor, Milne was very generous and had a heart of gold. Like her sisters, she could have easily become a movie star.

Thank you, Celine, for everything you did for so many people in our beloved Laguna Beach.

The family suggests that donations made in Milne’s memory to Vitas Hospice, Irvine.


The author is a longtime resident.

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