Miguel Lawrence "Larry" Cervantes, 87, of Santa Barbara peacefully passed away on Friday, July 25, 2014, at the Serenity House in Santa Barbara.
A small memorial will be held for family.
Larry was born on April 14, 1927, in Santa Barbara at St. Francis Hospital to Candelario and Teresa Cervantes and had one brother, Rudy Cervantes Sr. He graduated from Carpinteria High School.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy (California, National Guard) at the tender age of 16. He trained to be a sailor in San Diego. Over his time on active duty, he was assigned to four different ships. The USS McKee (DD575) is where he saw most of wartime action. He ranked Seaman 2nd Class Captain Army Reserve. After his honorable discharge and War Hero from the Navy he returned to Santa Barbara to study architecture and design. He became a carpenter and later opened Sierra Madre Construction Co. He built numerous houses over the following years.
Larry married his childhood sweetheart, Victoria Villalpando, on Jan. 20, 1952, a marriage that lasted 62 years.
He was active with the Native Sons of Santa Barbara, the Lions Club and the Elks Club, and enjoyed working with the Old Spanish Days Fiesta events. He had a passion for the sea. One of his favorite pastimes was fishing, and he loved sharing his “Catch of the Day” with family and friends. He was known as the chef of our family and prepared many wonderful dishes throughout the years.
Larry was so loveable, kind and a caring man. He hugged most everyone he met. His big heart has touched so many people in his life and was dearly loved.
After retirement, Larry enjoyed most of his days pruning his beautiful fruit trees, and tending to his vegetable and herb garden. He spent countless hours building beautiful things and working in his tool shop.
Larry is preceded in death by his loving brother, Rudy Cervantes Sr., and beautiful eldest daughter, Victoria Conley. He is survived by his amazing wife, Victoria Cervantes; daughters and husbands, Teri and Brent Ritz and Diane and Erwin Thomet. He loved his family dearly. He adored his beautiful niece Elizabeth and nephews Rudy Jr., Michael, Jonathan and Joe Cervantes, and their wives, husband and loving children.
The family wishes to thank the Santa Barbara Kidney Center, Dr. Kamal, Dr. Gilbert, Veterans Association, Dr. White, Visiting Nurse, Hospice Care, Buena Vista Center and Serenity House.
Larry will be remembered for his passion for life, big smile, humor, and a heart of gold for helping people and animals. He loved being with his family, friends and brought much happiness, laughter to all of us. He was an unbelievable man full of surprises! We will miss him dearly, especially his big hugs and kisses.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Veterans Association or the Serenity House.