Downey loses Larry Latimer and Bea Romano

Our community recently lost two outstanding residents: Bea Romano and Larry Latimer.

Romano may not have been a household name but her love for Downey ran deep. An artist and musician, she founded the band When Pigs Fly and, with Carol Kearns, founded the Make Music Downey music festival in 2013.

The Patriot profiled Romano six years ago. You can read the story here.

The GlennFest Film Festival announced Romano’s death and said she had battled ovarian cancer “for some time.” A funeral Mass is scheduled for Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Raymond’s Catholic Church.

Larry Latimer in 2010. Photo by Joan Anderson,

Larry Latimer in 2010. Photo by Joan Anderson,

Larry Latimer, meanwhile, literally wrote the book on Downey history. A lifelong Downey resident, Latimer dedicated his life to our community’s history. He was a popular guest speaker among local service clubs.

In an essay to publish later today, Downey Patriot writer Lorine Parks described Latimer as a Renaissance man: “[He] was first a scientist but also a writer, historian, photographer, gardener, golfer and lover of nature. He could also quote poetry and loved the LA Angels.”

According to his obituary, a memorial service was held Monday at St. Raymond’s. Friends are planning a separate service, tentatively scheduled for sometime in October at the Columbia Memorial Space Center.