Jesus (Larita) Lara, 1923-2020

Jesus (Larita) Lara of Strathmore, Calif. passed away on June 5, 2020. He was 96 years old. Jesus was born on Oct. 18, 1923 in Guanajuato, Mexico.

He emigrated from Mexico in 1943 and became a proud U.S. citizen. He was a hardworking farm laborer his entire life and harvested different fruits and vegetables, while traveling up and down the western United States. He and his family made many friends as they caravanned to and from each farm. In 1964 he and his family settled in Strathmore where he lived until his passing.

He served as an auxiliary forest firefighter with the California Department of Forestry Fire and Protection Department until the age of 70. During his 25 years as an auxiliary, he flew on helicopters and small planes to many different places, which he enjoyed. His dedication to nature and others, was a great example to all that loved and respected him.

Jesus enjoyed a lifetime of traveling, hiking and outings with his family. He was a craftsman who built Nacimientos (Nativity scenes) every year during Christmas, in his home and at church. Holidays with family were a joy for him.

Jesus Lara was very much loved by his family. He is survived by his brother Pedro (101 years old), and his sister Guadalupe (94 years old). He also leaves behind five children, Joe (wife Patricia), Teresa de la Puente (husband Joe), Connie Yrigollen, and Hazel Hudson (husband Bryan). He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, 6 great great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews in Mexico.

He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Alberta, in 2006.

Jesus was a very loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. His passing has left a void in the hearts of all who knew him. The memories of his love, kindness, lifelong friendships, compassion and humor, will help to get us through the grieving.

Jesus was laid to rest at a private graveside service on June 11, 2020 at Porterville Cemetery. A celebration of life with family and friends, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 28, 2020 at Joe and Pat Lara’s home. A funeral mass will follow at St. James Mission, 19752 Guthrie Dr., Strathmore, CA 93267, at 6:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jesus Lara’s name to California Fire Foundation, 800-890-3213 [email protected]

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