Meet Lala Contreras

Laurel “Lala” M. Contreras has come to live with us at Caring House. We’re honored.Laurel Contreras

Laurel, the daughter of George and Gloria Coakley, was born in Doctors Hospital in Los Angeles. She grew up in Gardena and graduated from Gardena High School.

She loves her “Lala” nickname, that came about once she was a mother because “Laurel” was hard for kids to pronounce.

Her daughter Susan shared these thoughts about Lala,

She’s beautiful and smart and wicked funny. Incredibly creative and artistic, the O.G. Martha Stuart, minus the cooking part. As a kid I once joked that she only made 52 meals a year . . . a big pot of something on Sunday, and we’d eat off of it the rest of the week. But put a paintbrush or glue gun in her hand and she would make something incredible.

One of my earliest memories with her is of us tie dying with giant buckets in our front yard, cute matching yellow sundresses. She would see things in magazines or stores or even model homes (she loved to traipse through model homes) and she just figured “I can make that” and she did.

Ever the practical joker, she pulled some good ones in her time. She once made a cousin eat a giant earthworm for a dollar and then short changed him but later sent him a check for fifty cents. She scared her best friend to tears, even though she hated being scared herself.

She was a great dancer and loved to get her groove on, but could not carry a tune in a bucket . She would sing along anyway snapping her fingers and singing the wrong words . . . always the wrong words. Her love and kindness and compassion for animals was amazing. Dogs . . . any animal really . . . loved her. She was at home on horseback, in fact she belonged on a horse and she wore a cowboy hat better than anyone I know. She used to joke that she was pretty sure she was a horse in a past life.

From the moment she arrived at Caring House, we’ve seen the love and dedication brought to Lala by her family and friends.

We’re glad that Lala is with us at Caring House. We look forward to caring for her.

In Memoriam

Lala died on September 23, 2017. Honor her. Remember her.