Lara G. Petiss, 94, daughter of William F. and Mary E. Cassidy Quarters was born M. Laurina Quarters on February 17, 1924 in Providence, R.I. She passed in peace at The Retreat, 90 Retreat Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 surrounded by several family members and close friends on May 12, 2018. She will be long-remembered by many for her keen sense of humor, unqualified trust and love of all people. Those who felt her love accepted it completely. As a child, Lara danced with the various troops, entertaining our forces at bases both domestic and abroad. After attending Brown University, Lara founded and operated the Dedford Insurance Company in East Greenwich, RI. Soon afterward she moved to Hartford, CT with her former husband, Benjamin H. Pettis, Jr. and their five children - Marianne Broad of Sun City Centero FL., Michaela Sullivan of West Haven, CT., Maureen Stankiewicz, of Berlin, Ct. and Benjamin Pettis of New York,NY. Shew as pre-deceased by her third child, Melissa Manson of Alamogordo, NM. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. While living in Connecticut, Lara participated in several state, civic, political and volunteer organizations for over sixty years holding the offices of the President of the West Hartford Junior Women's Club, President of the West Hartford Women's CIub, a Board Member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs of America and State President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut which numbered 15,000 members statewide at the time. She assisted in founding and served as Chairman of the Council of West Hartford organizations: the West llartford Youth Gardens; and The Bridge, a free counseling agency for troubled teens in addition to updating the services of the of the Poison Information Center of Connecticut and inaugurating a state-wide hot-line for cancer information. She served as Chairman of the West Hartford Commission of Human Rights and was a candidate for its Town Council. She was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Liquor Law Coordination to the State of New York In 1975 she was appointed by then President Gerald Ford to organize a Capitol Regional Energy Conservation Association of utility companies,state agencies and businesses which undertook a series of area meetings and a publicity campaign to educate corporations and residents of safe and wise practices of energy use. Professionally, Lara worked in Connecticut as Assistant Manager, CPTV Auction as well as Resource and Press Associate for the Auerbach service for Connecticut Organizations, and Assistant Registrar of Voters Town of West Hartford.
She moved to Los Angeles in the early 1982 where she served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Life Action, then as Los Angeles County Job Fair Coordinator for the National Council on the Aging. A lifetime devotee of the Catholic Church she became involved in A Course in Miracles, a self-study group that provided her with inspiration, solace and comfort for over three decades.
Returning to Connecticut Lara coordinated and led the family Education Classes for the National Association for Mental Illness and held the position of Volunteer Program Manager at the State Veteran's Home and Hospital for thirteen years before retiring to The Retreat where she served as Vice-President of The Member's Council and met her new love and companion, Reno Martinez. In addition to her many professional and civil accomplishments, Lara was an excellent cook and a gregarious host known for her sumptuous game dinners. She could perform a perfect impression of Johnny Weissmuller's famous Tarzan yell, and scolded anyone so daring as to reveal Clark Kent's secret identity.
A bright and versatile woman, Lara was loved by those fortunate enough to have known her, sorely missed by those who hadn't had that honor.
A private service will be held later this year. In lieu of flowers, it is asked that donations be made to The Salvation Armv.
GOD IS NOT FAR FROM ME
HE SAID HE'D ALWAYS BE WITIH ME
WHEN I DARE I FIND HIM THERE WAITING WITHIN
Edited and excerpted from, "Allow",
A poem by Lara G. Petiss 5.96