Lou Piltz, former La Mirada City Councilmember and Mayor recently passed away. Lou was loved by the community.
Here is a little snippet Lou sent the La Mirada Blog last year, providing his insight to early La Mirada that will appear in the La Mirada history book, “Reflections From McNally’s Mirror,” being released in June of this year:
In 1957 when Hiram's Market opened, I had to drive from Long Beach to La Mirada over 2 lane asphalt roads , about 12 miles, as manager of the new market. There was very little housing in between and lots of dairies and open space. The new store was in the La Mirada Shopping Center, where some of the signs indicated Bonds Men’s Store and May Company. The street called Rosecrans was a two lane street separated by a dirt strip in the center. A lot of construction was occurring for Ohrbach’s, Newberry’s, and Barker Brothers. When I became more involved in the area, it was not a city yet; The City of La Mirada was incorporated in March 1960. I decided to purchase a home in the City in 1964. I instructed the real estate company, because I was becoming more involved with the city, I wished to be located in the city. Guess what? They sold me a home that was right in the middle of an area called Mitchell’s Island-the only area excluded from the last city incorporation election, because of the negative votes of the first election. I wondered why City Hall was across the street and I wasn't in the city? It was an island surrounded by the City of La Mirada. After my discovery I proceeded to organize a move to annex our area to the city, and we were successful!
Here are some accolades from Gene Gleason, longtime La Mirada local attorney and Kiwanis Club member who grew up in La Mirada:
From the time I was a first or second grade child in the early 1960’s turning in empty glass soda bottles at the Hiram Market in the old La Mirada Mall to store manager Lou Piltz, I have learned many life lessons from him, especially from how he treated other people. Those lessons include:
- Laugh at yourself: Who has not seen Lou acting like a child, telling self deprecating jokes or stories? We could all benefit by not taking ourselves too seriously and being able to laugh at ourselves. How many times I can recall seeing a Key Club member from La Mirada High School not sure how to react when their mayor balanced a spoon on his nose at a breakfast meeting or when Lou gave them lessons on how to flip “panny-cakes”at a fundraiser!
-Smile - even when that may be the opposite of what you want to do. It takes so little effort and so many people need to see a smile.
-Serve others because it is the right thing to do, not out of a desire for recognition for yourself.
-Be alert to the needs of others. We are called to be the eyes and ears of our community looking for those in need.
-Sincerity- when you ask “How are you doing?” Lou was not just “making talk.” When he asked how you were doing, he honestly wanted to know how you were doing. How little effort it takes to be sincere and care about your fellow man.
-One of the prices of truly caring is that you feel disappointment- Lou had a difficult time hiding it when someone let him down, when they did not measure up to what they should do. The hurt/disappointment would show-that was because he cared.
-I can picture him shaking his head from side to side and or rolling his eyes upward when something like that happened, as if to say “You can do better than that.”
-Stability-Love of Family. Lou was justifiably proud of his wife Sylvia, his children and his grandchildren. There was never any question about Lou's dedication to his family or his family's love for him