Thousand Oaks, CA
78 years young, on October 19, 2019, John Rogers "Roger" Lazar got called up to play on the great baseball diamond in the sky.
Roger was born on December 5, 1940 in Yonkers, New York to John and Josephine Lazar. Following in his father's footsteps, he completed a degree in mechanical engineering at Villanova in 1963. During college, he met Judy Garcia on a blind date. She became the love of his life and they married in 1964. They moved their young family from Rockville, MD to the Conejo Valley in 1971. He and Judy quickly became tightly integrated into the fast growing Thousand Oaks community. Roger held a variety of engineering management positions at Bunker Ramo's Westlake Village facility. While the name of the company changed many times over the years, Roger was an integral part of the business and eventually helped shut down the facility in 1990. In the years that followed, he worked at Teledyne and Datametrics before joining RITEC Rugged as a partner in 1997 from which he retired in 2016.
Roger was a passionate supporter of many community organizations including the Conejo Valley YMCA, St. Paschal Baylon Church and Conejo Valley Little League. His love for these organizations was driven by the fact they promoted family values and enabled him to positively influence the lives of his children and others in the community. Roger had been a board member of the Conejo Valley YMCA since 1996 and a Corporate YMCA Board member for the Southeast Ventura County since 2015. He was the steering committee chair in 2008 for the Miller center capital campaign.
A member of St. Paschal Baylon Parish for over 40 years, Roger served on the Men's Club board for many of the past ten years. He was a eucharistic minister since 2010, the Men's Club Pancake Breakfast chair since 2012, and an usher at mass for over 25 years. Roger was also a co-chair of the 2000 capital campaign to renovate the church and earlier this year, the Men's Club awarded him the St. Paschal Baylon Man of Honor Award for his lifetime of service.
Roger was passionate about baseball, an interest that would become a central part of his life. He played baseball as a teenager and softball as an adult until he could no longer bend over to field ground balls. His love for the sport lead him to Conejo Valley Little League. He was a manager in the major division of CVLL for 10 years, won four championships and managed four all-star teams who won 2 district championships. He travelled to South Carolina when the Big League team won the world championship in 1998 and to Williamsport, Pennsylvania when the Conejo Valley team won the US championship in 2004. Thousands of children in the Conejo Valley knew Roger because of his lifelong involvement in Little League. For the past seven years, he was the Little League district administrator for CA District 13 in Ventura County. In this role, he shared his passion for Little League Baseball not only with people of Thousand Oaks, but also many other communities in Ventura County.
Roger and Judy enjoyed traveling both here and abroad but especially loved visiting their grandchildren and positively impacting their lives over the past 25 years. This included visits with Tyler, Jacob, and Ally in San Jose, as well as Grace, Maggie, Ben, Cosley and great grandson Milo in Alaska.
Roger is survived by his wife Judy, their son Jack of San Jose, CA and his wife DeeDee; son T.J. of Gustavus, AK and his wife Barbara; son Steven of Eureka, CA; and sister Mary Lazar of Fredricksburg, VA. He was dearly loved and adored by his family and grandchildren who will miss him very much.
He was a gifted storyteller blessed with a great sense of humor. He loved trains, baseball cards, gin martinis, good cigars and all sports including Villanova basketball, the Dodgers, the Angels and the Lakers.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 2 at St. Paschal Baylon Catholic Church, 155 W. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks. All who knew Roger are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider volunteering with children or sending a donation to your favorite organization that works with them.
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