By Susan Motander
Through the week the news has been spreading that Lisa Magno had lost her battle with cancer. She died early on Friday morning, and saying she will be missed is a huge understatement.
Lisa was the “go-to” person in this area when it came to issues dealing with the elderly, or as we referred to them, respectively, the ancients. It was, for her, a term of respect. The seniors she worked with and for were her “human sunsets” – wonderful, exciting and each one unique. Lisa appreciated them all.
Her involvement with issues relating to the elderly started with her ownership of the Leven Oaks. In more than twenty years that she owned the facility, it shifted from a retirement hotel to a full-fledged assisted living center, without losing the personal touch that meant so much to Lisa. It was that personal touch that set this facility apart from others.
To Lisa, her residents were more than just clients. She went out of her way to make them feel that they were at home rather than in a home. The little things made a real difference in their lives: the birthday parties, the annual Christmas party with personalized gifts for everyone from Lisa, the parties for all the holidays. And these always included the families of the residents. That was the sort of care she demanded of herself and her staff.
Lisa’s concerns for the elderly lead her to starting the Monrovia Senior Providers Group, a collection of professionals whose concerns and businesses touched on the lives of seniors in the community. The Providers Group has hosted seminars and teas to help our senior citizens and keep them informed and aware of the services available to them.
This work also led to her service on the County’s Commission on the aging. She gladly gave of her time for these projects. Lisa always had projects. With her move from Monrovia to Duarte, she threw herself into that community as she had to Monrovia.
Her good friend Doug Edwards said of her passing: “Lisa died as she lived …deliberately.” Edwards had officiated at Lisa’s marriage to Larry Marino just two and half years ago, and she returned the favor serving as his “Best Man” at his marriage.
At the time she teased me saying she was finally one up on me. I had to point out that I had stood up for two male friends. Her response was classic Lisa: “Well, then you are the better man.” Lisa was like that…a quick wit with a puckish sense of humor. It was a necessity in her business.
In recent years she had found personal joy in her relationship with Larry, her beloved husband. Whenever she mentioned him, she almost seemed to bubble. For her friends, it was a delight; she deserved that joy and she willingly shared her joy.
A funeral mass will be held for Lisa Thursday, Dec. 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angeles Church on Campus Road in Arcadia. A visitation was held at Douglas and Zook last night with a Rosary at 7 p.m.
Lisa is survived by her son Joe and her dear husband Larry Marino. She is also survived by her large family and Larry’s as well as a legion of friends and her “ancients.”