Reindeer and Santa soar above the driveway. A snowman flanked by candy canes smiles broadly at passerby. Illuminated toy soldiers stand guard on either side of the front walk. The holidays once again find the Angeleno Heights front yard of Aurora and Pedro Ramirez filled and glowing with strands of lights and plastic figurines set amid the succulents, birds of paradise and hedges. But this year Pedro Ramirez, whose had hauled out and set up those decorations for about 20 years, was not involved in the Bellevue Avenue light show. Ramirez died on Dec. 13 and will be buried this afternoon. He was 81. Despite his death, the Ramirez family was not about to let Pedro Ramirez’ holiday legacy go dark.
On the day before Pedro Ramirez returned home following medical treatment, daughter Cindy Ramirez and other family members began hauling out the Christmas decorations stored in the basement and backyard shed and installed them in front of the couple’s home of more than 40 years. Many of the decorations – which include red lampposts, animated deer and angels – were in place when Pedro arrived home. “We put everything up so he could see them,” said Cindy Ramirez. The next day, Pedro Ramirez passed away.
The Ramirez’ Christmas lights and decorations have become a familiar sight to Angeleno Heights residents and passersby. Christmas, however, was not the only holiday that prompted Aurora and Pedro to decorate their front yard. The Eastsider last year wrote about the Ramirez’ preparations for Easter. But, as the couple said at the time, their Easter display could not compare with their annual Christmas extravaganza.
This morning, during a funeral mass held at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Echo Park, the priest described Pedro Ramirez as a someone who took time “to celebrate Christmas … the lights of Christmas.”