Saying goodbye to a city jewel

The passing of Larry Zarian has left all of us stunned and saddened (“Former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian dies of cancer,” Oct. 13). Reading of his passing in the newspapers evokes many memories of personal relationships with this man who was so much a part of the fabric of this city.

Descriptions, in the obituary columns, of a life such as Larry’s will chronicle past events and important dates and activities, but never capture the essence of that person — personal memories do. Each of us who knew him will have those special moments of recall that we cherish, some very close to ourselves and many that were common to us all.

Above all else, Larry was a gentleman; he could remember a name when introduced only once. He was unusual when describing an event in his life that for all of us would take 25 words; he would take 125 words or more. In other words, Larry was never at a loss for words.

He was the inveterate drum-beater for our city and always took every opportunity to extol the virtues and advantages of living in Glendale. He was involved, and was one of the few who could make things happen, and much of the Glendale we know and enjoy today was in a large measure due to his vision and persistence.

He was a unique leader and very proud of his city.

I served with Larry for eight years on the City Council, he being one of the people who asked me to run for office. We had been friends long before that, our children were in school together, and we shared our feelings about our respective families.

Family was important to him. Larry and I often disagreed on issues before us at council, but once the vote was taken, we made sure that all five of us were going to make the majority vote happen.

Though we would disagree about an issue, it never interfered with our friendship. We enjoyed each other’s company; we often talked about this when I was a guest on his radio programs and later on his television show.

Larry was never known as Mr. Zarian, he was always Larry. Every community should have a Larry Zarian and we can all be thankful that Glendale had him.

We will miss him. We have lost a dear friend and colleague, the Jewel City has lost one of its precious gems.

Carl W. Raggio


Editor’s note: Raggio is a former Glendale mayor.

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