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BREAKING NEWS: Lakewood City Councilman Larry Van Nostran has died

Remembering Lakewood Councilman Larry Van Nostran

Remembering Lakewood Councilman Larry Van Nostran

 

Orginial Post at 9:48 a..m

Updated at 3:48 p.m. Saturday

By Brian Hews

Long time Lakewood City Councilman Larry Van Nostran has died, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned.

Lakewood Sheriff’s Lt. Minh Dinh confirmed the death of Van Nostran on Saturday morning in a telephone interview with LCCN.

“It is with a sense of deep personal loss and the recognition that a uniquely dedicated public servant has been taken from us too soon, that we mourn the death of long-time Lakewood City Council Member Larry Van Nostran,” said Mayor Diane DuBois.

Van Nostran, 79, passed away at home Friday night, with his wife Charlene by his side, from what city officials said was “a progressive and incurable lung disorder. ”

“Van Nostran had been released from the hospital a week earlier once the incurable nature of his ailment had been diagnosed,” a city spokesman said.

Lakewood City Councilman Todd Rogers took to his Facebook page on Saturday and told his friends that “A good friend and great councilman left us tonight. His passion and unabashed love for Lakewood will leave an indelible mark on our great community. I miss him already. May God bless Larry Van Nostran and comfort his family.”

On Saturday afternoon, Rogers told LCCN in an interview: “This is a great personal and professional loss. He was a great mentor to me as I ran for and joined the city council. He was a wealth of historical knowledge regarding the growth and past politics of our city and remained passionate about the community until his last breath. I spoke to him several hours before he passed and he demonstrated the same indomitable spirit that was his hallmark. He had a zest for life and was courageous to the end.”

Council Member Van Nostran was first elected to the city council following a special election in 1975.  He was one of the longest-serving local elected officials in Southeast Los Angeles County and the longest-serving council member in Lakewood’s history with 37 years on the governing body.

He ran unopposed in the election of 1999, a first in the city’s history and served nine terms as mayor during his tenure on the council, most recently in 2011-2012.  

Van Nostran was Lakewood’s representative to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA), and he serves as president of the authority’s executive committee, a position he has held since 1990. Started in 1978, the California JPIA is the largest municipal self-insurance agency in the state. He was also the city’s alternate representative to the League of California Cities’ L.A. County Division.

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los A...

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los Angeles County, California. Lakewood is highlighted in red. I created it in Inkscape using data from the Los Angeles County Website (Los Angeles County Incorporated Area and District Map (PDF). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Van Nostran founded the Lakewood Youth Sports Hall of Fame.

According to a city website, Van Nostran was proudest of Lakewood’s “exceptionally low crime rate, abundant recreational opportunities, efforts by the city council to improve the quality of Lakewood schools, the creation and sustainment for over 30 years of the Lakewood Youth Sports Hall of Fame.”

Official seal of City of Lakewood

Official seal of City of Lakewood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In each of his nine terms as mayor,” said DuBois, “Larry stood as a fierce defender of the community’s values and served as a leader of the city council in guiding Lakewood with wisdom and determination. I know that Larry’s greatest aspiration – and one he achieved – was to keep Lakewood safe, ensure its continuing prosperity and preserve its neighborhood quality of life. We will always remember Council Member Larry Van Nostran – indomitable, loyal, true, and brave. A great leader of Lakewood has been struck down, but his enduring legacy will live on.”

“I’ve known Larry throughout my entire career in Lakewood,” said Howard Chambers, who has served as Lakewood’s city manager since 1976. “For me, he was a mentor, an advocate and a friend. For Lakewood, he was a pillar of strength. In Larry, I saw a man who always fought the good fight, who never wavered in his convictions, and who lived and breathed the genuine spirit of his city each day.”

Van Nostran is survived by his wife Charlene, sons Dennis and David, five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Memorial service details are pending and will be made public later here at Lakewood Online.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Friends of the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, 5130 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712 or to Christ Presbyterian Church of Lakewood, 5225 Hayter Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712.

COPYRIGHT. LOS CERRITOS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. REPUBLISHING GRANTED WITH PROPER ATTRIBUTION. 2012. 

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3 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Lakewood City Councilman Larry Van Nostran has died

  1. Lakewood Leader Reply

    November 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I just heard about the death of Larry. This is a huge huge loss of a dedicated public servant that can never be replaced. Thanks, LCCN for keeping our community up to date with information day in and day out. Larry loved your newspaper.

  2. Nick in Lakewood Reply

    November 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Lakewood lost it’s most dedicated public servant. He will never be forgotten or missed. RIP!

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