John Jesse "Johnny" Lira of Ferndale passed away on Sunday July 22nd at the age of 60. Born August 12, 1957 in Inglewood, CA., to John and Gretchen Lira, he grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA., surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. After graduating from Newberry Park High School in 1975, he attended a technical college where he took a course in automotive upholstery. After completing this course, he proudly became the 3rd generation to work in the family business, Jerome's Upholstering, where he was the first member to specialize in automotive upholstering. In 1977 along with his family, Johnny moved to Ferndale, WA where they continued their upholstery business in addition to building and opening the Mexican restaurant, Tres Sombreros.
He loved his work which included custom car interiors and seats for classic car and motorcycle clubs and especially loved the several years he taught automotive upholstery at Bellingham Technical College where he was known to be an enthusiastic and passionate teacher. An avid golfer, he also enjoyed bowling, playing darts, motorcycles, cars, camping and fishing, but nothing gave him more joy than spending time with his friends and family, in particular, his children and grandchildren. Johnny will always be remembered for his bright smile, contagious laughter, animated story telling, and his dedication to charity work and helping others. He lived his life to the fullest and he will be dearly missed by his loved ones and the community he worked so hard to help.
He was preceded in death by great-grandmother Natividad Arriola, grandparents Jerome & Mary Lira and Chester & Patricia Webb, aunts Gloria Ridal, Rose Gallagher and B.J Reich, and infant son Jeremy. He is survived by his parents, sons Jerod and Brady Lira, daughters Jessica Garza and Shelby Lira, son-in-law Issac Garza, daughter-in-law Haley Hagin, grandchildren Gracelyn, Sydney, Jesse, Easton and Cruz, aunt Rachel Green, uncles Richard Arriola and Patrick Webb, cousins Michael, James and Kathy Gallagher, Ricky Ariolla and many more family members in California, Michigan, Colorado and Arizona.
A Celebration of Johnny's life will be Sunday, August 26, at 4:00pm at the American Legion Hall, 5537 2nd Ave., Ferndale.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, Northwest Kidney Centers or the charity of your choice.