Lola Nava Guerra
Lola Nava Guerra was a woman of indomitable courage, tremendous talent and infectious vivacity.
Born to Mexican immigrants (Julian and Refugio Nava) she began her life in East Los Angeles the 4th of 8 children. Here, she spent much of her time at the Divine Savior Presbyterian Church; an institution that would come to have a very deep place in her heart and a large impact on her life.
It was at the Divine Savior that Lola began to develop her beautiful voice. She began singing in the church choir, but at the age of 19 she was asked to sing for Gospel Recordings (a record company that specialized in religious music). These recordings were sent all over the world; From South Korea to South America. Lola continued to sing for the rest of her life, performing in yearly concerts with coral groups and as a soloist. She sang solos in many weddings; one prominent coral group was the Mizelfelt Corale, known for doing the Messiah in Spanish at Christmas. She enjoyed performing long through her retirement years.
In 1955, needing her television fixed she coincidentally reconnected with an old high school classmate and television repair man, Jesus (Jess) Guerra. The two fell in love and enjoyed a 60 year marriage.
In 1969 the two moved to Goleta, California where Lola immediately took an interest in the local community. She helped start the preservation of the Ellwood Butterfly Preserve. But she was also a social activist: demonstrating peacefully in favor of The Farmworkers Union, The Organic Farm Movement and The League of Women Voters. She touched the next generation through her years of working with the Migrant Education program in local schools.
Being one of the first Hispanic families in the neighborhood did not stop Lola from doing anything she set her mind to. And it is this indomitable spirit that has both touched and shaped the community that she called her home until her death this last December.
To describe Lola Guerra accurately, one would need raid the pages of the dictionary with fervor, determination and hope. Even with all the words of the English language at your disposal, the complete beauty of Lola Nava Guerra could not hope to be adequately described.
She is survived by her husband Jess, their 6 children, 14 grandchildren, 4 great- grandchildren, her brother (Julian) and her sister (Rose Marie).
Her family thanks all for their wishes and their prayers. Lola held a place in our hearts that will never be filled again.