Dec. 24, 1927 — Aug. 7, 2013
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Aug. 13 for Richard F Lara of Westley, who died peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at his residence.
Mr. Lara, 85, was born in Hawaii and was a resident of Westley for 59 years. He was a farmer for 70 years. His farming career began in Sunnyvale as Lara Brothers. In 1954 the family moved to Westley and Richard, along with his brothers, established Lara Farms. In 1996, Richard Lara Farms Inc. was founded and he continued farming with his children and grandchildren teaching them everything he knew about farming and life up to his passing. Starting with Richard’s father, Fred, there were four generations of farmers in his family. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Patterson and Westley Volunteer Fire Department for over 20 years. He was a long time member of the Patterson Lions Club and various other agricultural organizations.
Mr. Lara was known as a hard-working honest man. He dedicated his life to his family and was a loyal friend to all. He will be missed, especially by his devoted wife in whom he met at a school dance in Sunnyvale, where it was clear that he fell in love immediately with her eyes, lips and hips. They married and shared 61 years together.
Mr. Lara is survived by his wife, Marie Lara of Westley; sons, Michael Lara of Patterson and Daniel Lara and his wife, Susie, of Modesto; daughter, Vicky Taylor and her husband Larry, of Patterson; brothers, Paul Lara of Patterson, Fred Lara of Westley, Eddie Lara of Patterson and Henry Lara of Firebaugh; grandchildren, Jarod Lara, Paul Lara, Mikey Lara, Jason (Guid) Lara, Daniel Lara II, Austin Lara, Mark Lara, Heather Gerety and Richard Gerety III; great-grandchildren, Dustin Lara, James Lara, Kinsley Lara and another great-granddaughter on the way. He was preceded in death by his brother, Ben Lara; sister, Eleanor Plaza and grandson, Francis Lara.
Mr. Lara’s family has chosen his final resting place to be next to his best man and life long friend, Eddie Bettencourt where they can be best buddies forever.
A visitation will be observed from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, at Hillview Funeral Chapel, 450 W. Las Palmas Ave, in Patterson. A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 529 I St., in Patterson. Burial will follow at Patterson District Cemetery, 10800 Highway, 33, Patterson.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Lara’s name may be sent to Westley Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 911, Westley, CA 95387, Patterson Lions Club P.O. Box 452, Patterson, CA 95363 or Community Hospice 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356-9259.