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Memorial for Optimist Leader Pat Holguin

  • By David Barron

Patrick Lee Holguin, one of the local leader for Optimist Clubs here, was born on March 6 1915. He was the 14th of 15 children born to Manuel and Agustina Anaya Holguin. Pat was a native of California, born in the city of Santa Monica.


Tragically, he was predeceased by his first born daughter, Geraldine Juliette, who passed away from Encephalitis Meningitis. He was also pre-deceased by his wife, Bea, his parents and his siblings – Anthony, Manuel, Joseph, Francisco, Laura, Raymond Albert and Gilbert.
At the age of five, Pat and his entire family moved to East Los Angeles where he attended Malabar Street School, Belvedere Jr. High and graduated from Garfield High School in February, 1934.
He married a beautiful girl, Beatrice Guevara, who gave birth to Geraldine and Juliette Ann Arroyo, Unfortunately Bea Passed away in April, 1996, just one year short of 60 years of marriage with Pat.
In addition to Gerry and Julie, the highlight of their marriage was being the owners of the famous East L.A. take out burrito and taco stand aptly named, “Beas’s El Burrito.” Pat and Bea operated this business very successfully for 17 years. Pat had so much time on his hands since Bea took care of the daytime business that he sought employment with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
He applied as a co-manager, was accepted, and eventually promoted to “Food Specialist,” which in effect was the title for Food Service Supervisor.
He supervised (food service) for 15 elementary, six middle and high schools, including Garfield, Belvedere and Malabar, which were the schools he attended in his youth. He retired from the L.A. Unified School District after being employed there for 15 years.
Two years, later, being a very active person, Pat applied at the Braille Institute of Orange County, answering an ad for a “creative cook.” He promptly was accepted and spent 14 years there as Food Service Coordinator and supervisor for his chosen kitchen staff. He retired from the Braille Institute at the age of 83.
Pat then continued being active by attending a computer class at a Senior Computer Learning Center. He went on to study and compiled a very interesting and unique cookbook named “food Creations.” With recipes that he learned from his mother and also from his cooking experiences at popular Mexican, American and Continental restaurants along with other sources.
Pat joined the civic organization known as the Optimist International in 1958 and was a member of three local clubs where he assumed club and district positions such as president, district chairperson and eventually received an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award from Optimist International.
Pat will not only be sorely missed by his family, but also by his many friends and acquaintances that he met as a dedicated Optimist member during his 50-plus years of service to the modern day youth and communities that he was so proud to serve.
Pat is survived by his daughter, Juliette Ann Arroyo and her husband, Fernando, Pat was a devoted grandfather to Steven, Nichole, and Jay Patrick Arroyo.
He is also survived by family members Joe, Kikomi, Cristina and Aimee. He was also great grandfather to Bowie, Charlie, Luca, Rae, Satchel, Lola, Benson, Luella, Pele, Durand and Eden. Pat was a devoted and beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Pat was often asked “Pat, what’s your secret, how do you stay so young at heart.” You always seem so happy?” He would answer: “I live by my motto taken from the Optimist Creed: “ To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind and to always look at the sunny side of everything and make your Optimism come true.”
For all of you, may this motto give you inspiration to live by and remember a man that gave so much to others and asked for very little in return. He loved life, his family and friends and truly made a difference in each and every one of us here today.
May Pat rest in peach.
(Prepared and read by Cynthia Miranda-Palumbo at memorial services held March 9, 2015.) 

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