Photos and story by Terry Miller
Upon the one year anniversary of her death, hundreds of friends, colleagues and city employees attended a ceremony Tuesday evening honoring the late Flotetta Lauber for her immense and energetic contributions to the community at large but particularly for the Education Center which was dedicated in her name. The center broke ground Sept 29, 2013.
Floretta Lauber passed away peacefully in her beloved Arcadia on Aug. 1, 2016. A civic leader and community icon, Lauber began her City of Arcadia service in 1964 as a member of the personnel board and in 1965 and was the first female appointed to Arcadia’s Planning Commission, serving until 1973. During this time she became a member of the San Gabriel Valley Planning Council and served as president from 1967 to 1969. In 1974 she became the first woman to be elected to the Arcadia City Council and served as mayor in 1976.
Former Longtime Mayor and lifelong Arcadian Gary Kovacic said at Floretta’s funeral that: “She was a legendary figure in the life of Arcadia and will be long remembered for her many accomplishments and vibrant personality. She was the first woman to serve as a mayor of Arcadia, and her dedicated commitment to our beloved community will remain first in our thoughts.”
Former Mayor George Fasching summed it up succinctly by saying, “We lost a legend!”Lauber’s passion in the last years of her life was The Education Center at the Charles Gilb Museum of History in Arcadia. Lauber initiated the concept, fundraising for the project and continued to be involved throughout the year-long process of the building.
Mayor Peter Amundson took to the podium to honor Lauber and thank her on behalf of the city council for her extraordinary commitment to the city.
Proudly displayed in the Education Center were memorabilia pertaining to Lauber’s illustrious career, not the least of which was writing a weekly column for this newspaper, called Social Whirl.
Another of Floretta’s many friends, Arcadia City Clerk Gene Glasco, was in attendance Tuesday and offered this at her services last year: “Floretta was Arcadia’s first woman mayor and life-long community leader. She is an Arcadia icon who loved and served her city with energy and passion; a luminary who contributed innumerable and lasting accomplishments to the city and for the community of Arcadia. Besides her incredible forte for community activism, Floretta was a classy lady.”
Council Member April Verlato who was also at the ceremony said: “Thank you, Floretta, for all that you did for women in politics and for all residents of the City of Arcadia … ”
Floretta would have been 91 this year.