OBITUARY

Conrad Maurice LAGRASTA

January 27, 1930December 28, 2020

Conrad LaGrasta was an avid collector of many things—businesses, cars, guns, homes, and model planes among them—but without a doubt, the most valued among his collection were his memories. With Conrad’s passing, we lose, too, tales of great adventure; memories of family and legacy; quirky jokes; stories of intense love and loss; and so much more than can be captured in these few words. His family wishes to note just a few highlights, ensuring the remembrance of this great man and incorporating his legacy into our own collection of memories. Conrad Maurice John LaGrasta was born January 27, 1930 in Syracuse, New York, son of Samuel and Marge LaGrasta (d). His first rise to fame came at the ripe old age of two, when he won a children’s beauty contest. At the age of thirteen, he and his family made the trek to southern California, where Conrad resided for the next 77 years of his life, excusing two years abroad in the army. A proud veteran of the Korean War, Conrad was stationed in Germany as an airplane mechanic, where he secured the Eastern border in the early days of the Cold War. Just a few years after his service, while visiting family and friends in Syracuse, New York, Conrad met the great love of his life: Mary Anastasia Laba (d. 2008). Mary lived in Syracuse and worked for the railroad with the wife of one of Conrad’s cousins, who later introduced Mary and Conrad, and the rest—as they say—is history! Conrad and Mary married on July 5, 1958 in Syracuse, and Conrad quickly carried her back West to nest in Eagle Rock, California. Conrad and Mary were parents to daughters Valerie (Valerie LaGrasta-McDermott m. Ed McDermott (d. 2018)) and Constance (Connie Perrine m. Dean Perrine). An Italian-born American with six sisters, Conrad’s extended family was quite large. In fact, it extended to just about everyone he met. From the people he befriended at the gun shows he hosted, to the mail carrier he chatted with, and to everyone in between, Conrad was a loyal and steadfast friend. He leaves behind his daughters, Valerie and Connie; his grandchildren, Aaron, Shea, Camden, and Renee; his sisters, Carolyn and Jeannette; many nieces and nephews; and everyone who ever had the pleasure of making his acquaintance. Conrad was an electronics engineer by training, and worked for several different electronic-based companies and industries. Conrad eventually exited this career path and purchased his own Interiors business in Glendale, California, in 1976. He was also heavily involved in real estate, and worked with his father, Sam, at Eagle Rock Realty from a young age. Conrad and Mary were both very active in the Glendale community. Together, they frequently hosted many Chamber mixers; volunteered for Days of Verdugo; were members of The Glendale Chamber of Commerce, The Verdugo Club, and Elks Lodge; promoted the Glendale Gun Show at the Glendale Civic Auditorium for 15 years; and were a part of various other active associations and clubs. Conrad was always an adventurer, a self-starter, and an entrepreneur at heart. He was a survivor who persevered through heart bypass surgery, and well into his 80’s survived an intense battle with cancer. After beating cancer, he continued to live his life to the fullest. He visited and explored the Pacific Northwest at the age of 89; flew in a Bi-Plane at the age of 85; and rejoined the dating pool, where he met the wonderful Sue. We are so thankful that Conrad found Sue, with whom a friendship and love blossomed, and kept Conrad young, energetic, and adventurous during the latter part of his life. Conrad passed away on December 28, 2020, after an ongoing battle with pulmonary fibrosis, exacerbated by COVID-19. Conrad passed knowing he raised two great daughters with whom his own legacy and collected memories could be carried forth. Memorial services will be private in light of COVID-19. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Claire’s Place Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves those with cystic fibrosis, created by Claire Wineland (d. 2018), who was Conrad’s great-niece. When the world returns to normal, we plan to share in a celebration of life. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. https://inmemoryofconrad.funraise.org.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, January 22, 2021

Memories

Conrad Maurice LAGRASTA

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Ann Hatchitt

January 24, 2021

My deepest sympathies to my friend Connie and the entire family of this wonderful man. I’m so sorry for your loss.💕

Rickelle Laba

January 22, 2021

I was so happy when Uncle Conrad visited Syracuse a few years back, and wanted to come up to our home on Montario Point for a couple days. We had a wonderful time catching up. Rest In Peace Unc. Conrad. Love ❤️ you- Rickelle

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY