Anne Lombard Passes Away

Anne and Rocci Lombard in their Fremont Place garden (photo by Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Anne Lombard passed away Tuesday morning at her home in Fremont Place, just four days shy of her 91st birthday. Anne, the mother of Larchmont Buzz co-publisher Patty Lombard,  relocated to Fremont Place with her husband Rocci more than five years ago, to live with her family. She was a longtime resident of Ft. Lauderdale, FL,  but also a frequent visitor to Los Angeles, visiting her grandchildren over the years. In L.A., Lombard joined the Ebell of Los Angeles, where she enjoyed baking cookies for dinners delivered by Ebell members to residents of Alexandria House. She was also a member St. Brendan’s Church, and regularly received communion from church volunteers.

Anne Lombard was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania June 15, 1928. She attended Indiana University, in Indiana, PA, where she earned a degree in Home Economics. She married Rocci Lombard, of Sharpsville, PA, on December 26, 1951. They moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1960, becoming active in the local business community and ultimately owners of the Ross, Lombard and Ballard Insurance Agency. Anne was also a Home Economics teacher at Northeast High School for twenty-five years. During that time, she pioneered a life skills class for students called “Marriage and Family Living,” making her one of the most well known teachers on campus.

After retiring from teaching, Lombard started another career as a community activist, planting trees and chairing the city’s first Community Appearance Board, and a new profession as a real estate broker. She also worked alongside her husband Rocci, running their property and casualty insurance agency. Anne loved people and she loved matching them up with the right house. She was proud to say she earned her last commission check at the age of 80!

It was bittersweet for Anne to leave her well-established home in Fort Lauderdale, but she was happy to be absorbed into family and neighborhood life in Los Angeles. She was thrilled that her new home and garden, designed by her daughter Joanna, a practicing architect in Miami, and local architect Gunther Motz, along with garden designer Judy Horton, was featured in the Los Angeles Times. She was very proud of her six grandchildren and never hesitated to note their uniqueness.  And until recently, when health issues kept her from participating fully, she was always up for going on an adventure.

Anne will be missed by her husband Rocci, son John Lombard and Claudia Lombard, daughter Joanna Lombard and Denis Hector, and daughter Patty Lombard and Bill Simon…along with her grandchildren, Dorothy Anne and William Hector, Joseph and Mathew Lombard, Emily and Alexandra Simon. She is also survived by her sister, Josephine Bartley, brother Sandy Petruso, and four nieces and two nephews. She was predeceased in death by her sisters Rosemarie Petruso and Vincena Malec.

In lieu of flowers, Anne would love support for the work of Alexandria House, a transitional shelter for women and children. A memorial will be planned later in the summer.

 

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10 thoughts on “Anne Lombard Passes Away

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and much deserved tribute to Ann. She will be greatly missed. Linda and Gerry

  2. Dear Patty,
    So sorry to hear about the passing of your mom, she sounded like quite a women. Your write up was sweet. May she Rest In Peace and may you all have many good memories of your mom.

    Bennett Wolk

  3. So many great memories from my childhood of time spent at your home in Fort Lauderdale. I always felt so welcomed and I loved your mom. So sad to hear.

  4. Dear Patty, My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I appreciated reading about your mother’s beautiful and inspiring life. Take care.

  5. Dear Mr. Lombard, Joanna, John and Patty,
    I was just thinking about your Mom the other day and remembering all the lunches I enjoyed with Duchess, Mrs. Taylor and your Mom in her Home Ec room, my freshman year.
    I only had her for Student Council with Mr. Kerrick but she took me under her wing and nicknamed me, “her baby”. There wasn’t another freshman that she included in her lunches, in fact, I don’t remember any other student but me! Before she was feeding me, she actually fed my Uncle David (Haines) who was a JV football coach at N.E. while I was still at Rickards’ Middle School. Uncle David and Coach (Mike) Props (maybe even Shealy and Tobias) would hit your Mom up for whatever free food they could for lunch. They knew that if they were funny and charming, she would feed them. Needless to say, they adored your Mom!
    How lucky I was that your Mom took an interest in me. She always encouraged me, showed me how to make pasta, gave me my first “real” job at the insurance agency, got me a job volunteering for Van Poole and I even served as a Page in Tallahassee because of her, she even invited me over for dinner which was a real treat!
    Which brings to mind, how cool it was that she and Mr. Kerrick, set up the mock legislative session in our school, which as a freshman, I had a very, very, very small role but learned a tremendous amount about politics. I know that was your Mom’s idea and she was instrumental in making it a success. We even were invited to Tallahassee and I went with her and Julie Jett was given the gavel by the Speaker. Northeast High was recognized and it was the best high school road trip ever! Your Mom made that happen, spring of 1975.
    Years later this experience led me to lobby, pro bono, for the Steven Gellar act in Florida for health coverage for special needs children, even when it didn’t cover my own son. This was long before Obamacare and Marco Rubio was only the Speaker of the House. So the lesson learned from Student Council and our mock session in 1975, is that all voices matter. You just have to make sure you do not sit on the sidelines.
    When I graduated from Northeast, I remember she said that I needed personal stationary for college. So she took me downtown to Burdines’ , in Fort Lauderdale and she helped me pick out note cards with my initials and return address which she gave me as a graduation gift. At the time, I thought it was way too expensive but she said I had to have them and I would need them to write thank you notes and correspond with family and friends. To this day, I still have personalized stationary and believe in writing old fashioned thank you notes. I seem to remember she took me afterwards to the Chemist Shop and I love our lunch there. It was my first time there and I loved it’s quaint atmosphere.
    I don’t need to tell you as you know that your Mom was a first class act. She was a lady, loads of fun, always upbeat, a valued friend, extremely compassionate and loving to Duchess as she was losing the fight to breast cancer and the best second mother anyone could ever ask to have in their life.
    The life lessons that your Mom taught me were the value of encouragement (especially for “ugly ducklings” like me), family first (She was so proud of you all!) and the importance of teachers at impressionable times in our lives. She also taught me that you could freeze anything and the key to a great party was preplanning and organization.
    Other than recently thinking of your Mom, I thought of her when I hosted 100 Krewe members for the Debutante Tea at my house, December 2017. I smiled and thought that I had learned from the best of them (your Mom) as it ended up being more of a solo act than I expected and that didn’t phase me as I had anticipated it and I was ahead of schedule. She had taught me attention to detail and I learned it without being in her Home Ec classes but from all those lunches we shared.
    Interestingly, I ended up with a teaching degree from Stetson and later received my 218 and 220. So in a way, I followed in her footsteps, which I never really thought about until I sat down to write this letter to you all.
    If I am as loved as your mother was, then I will have lived a rich life like hers.
    I know that this is an incredibly hard time for you all but I hope you find comfort in the wonderful memories of your Mom. After all these years, I would still recognize the sound of her voice.
    One of my favorite lines from Shadowlands, the movie, is when C.S. Lewis’ wife, Joy, knowing she is dying of cancer tells him (Jack/CS Lewis) that she knows that the pain he will feel when she is dead is because of the joy that they shared today.
    So, I try and remember that, when I have someone I love that has died (like my Mom). I remind myself, I was blessed to have known and loved them.
    Weren’t we the lucky ones to have Anne Lombard in our lives? She was unique in all the world and she made us better for knowing and loving her.
    Much love to all of you,
    Heidi

    1. Heidi,
      I am so grateful to you for your lovely and thoughtful recollections! I was away at school when my mom worked on the legislative session and I know she was incredibly proud of you and the students. Learning the details from you is a gift! Also your recollections of her party planning, and I definitely remember a freezer of increasing numbers of spritz cookies at Christmas which would diminish as we would sneak samples(!) and her love of personalized stationery which I am happy to hear extended to you. I also remember her very dear friend Duchess – and of course she spoke of you often! I am sure your students are blessed to have you in their lives. Many thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us.
      Much love, Joanna

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