With a song in his heart and his children by his side, Max Abad Lara passed away on June 3, 2014 from complications of a fishing trip.
Born on August 20, 1922 at the foot of Mt. Blanca, Max was the first son of Macedonio and Cleofes Martinez Lara. Max grew up in the San Luis Valley, the idyllic setting where he developed his love of the outdoors and being in the mountains. One of his greatest joys was to explore and then teach his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren where certain trails lay hidden Ėespecially the trail leading to the elusive gold mine.
After graduating from Hooper High School he joined the Army Air Corps during World War II and, upon his return, attended barber college in Denver. He married the love of his life, Cordelia Medina and together they raised six children, Vivian (Raul) Araujo, Ray (Diane) Lara, Mark (Marian) Lara, Marguerite (Arnold) Salazar, Maxine (Placido) Gomez and his palomita, Patti Lara. He nurtured 13 grandchildren, Joseph, Ben and Chris Lara, Ursula and Max Salazar, Sara Araujo, Claire, Marina, Nick and Stevan Lara, Placido, Emilio and Victoria Gomez and 7 great-grandchildren, Marcos and Alicia Jacquez, Mateo and Luciana Lara, Amalia Lara and Lucius and Lotus Lara.
A Boy Scout leader for 29 years, Max received the distinguished Silver Beaver Award and the St. George Award for Catholic Scouting. He helped organize the first La Jara Volunteer Fire Department and served as the Fire Chief for over 25 years. He and his friend, George Skinner, brought television to the La Jara area by erecting the first relay tower on San Antonio Mountain, and he served on the North Conejos School Board for enough terms that allowed him to personally hand each of his children their high school diploma. Music was a big part of his life and he had an accordion band in the 1940ís. He also played the piano, organ, trombone and drums. At the age of 80 he organized a Menís Choir for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.
Max lived his belief in service to others in the many volunteer activities that filled his days that turned into years and became a way of life that is his legacy. A farmer, barber, hunter, fisherman, inventor, furniture builder, painter, writer, and gardener, he will be greatly missed.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held on Friday, June 6 at 7:00 pm at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Jara, Colorado. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 7, at 10:00 am at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.
Rogers Family Mortuary of Alamosa is in care of the arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.rogersfunerals.com