Noted businessman and philanthropist Ed Lara passed away recently at the age of 91. A well-known community leader and entrepreneur, Lara and his wife, Genevieve, were owner-operators of Westside Distributors in Los Angeles for nearly 30 years.
Their company was part of Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler network. By all accounts, Ed and “Gen” served with distinction and made many contributions to organizations throughout South L.A. until they both retired in 2000.
Ed Lara was often saluted for his giving spirit and fundraising skills. St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church Day School in Compton was a frequent recipient of his talents as well as other civic and community groups. In fact, his 80th birthday celebration doubled as a fundraiser for St. Timothy’s School.
According to a November 2010 Sentinel article, Lara stressed that the most important focus that day were the children of St. Timothy’s Day school. He said, “This event’s fundraising would help the school continue its 48-year journey of providing a quality education right in the heart of Compton. Also, many of the school’s alumni have become doctors and lawyers while others have obtained similar esteemed professional careers.”
More than 250 people attended the event including elected officials such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, corporate executives like Kenneth Bentley of Nestle USA Foundation and business owners such as Deloria Jones of Djones Marketing Enterprises. Also, he received written and video tributes from President Barack Obama and retired Anheuser-Busch Western Region Manager John T. Stevens, respectively.
Ed Lara’s celebration of life services were pending at press time.