Former LA Times reporter Joe Reyes Nevarez dies

Joe Reyes Nevarez, who worked his way up at the Los Angeles Times from copy boy to a report specializing in the oil industry, has died. He was 97.

Nevarez was a founding member of the California Chicano News Media Association. He died at his Monterey Park home Dec. 29.

In 1930, Nevarez began his 47-year career at the Times pasting up the New York Stock Exchange quotations. He went on to become one of the first Mexican-American writers at the Times.

In 1964, his contributions helped the Times to win the Loeb Newspaper Award for Distinguished Reporting of Business and Financial News. He retired in 1977, but returned to the Times as a public relations consultant for another five years. In 1985, the California Chicano News Media Association honored him as a pioneer in Los Angeles journalism.

Nevarez was born in Tepehuanes, Durango, Mexico on Jan. 6, 1912. At three months old, Nevarez and his mother, Reynalda Mesa Nevarez, moved to El Paso, Texas and later to Los Angeles.

He graduated from Central Junior High School in 1927 and Lincoln High School in 1930, where he wrote for the school newspaper.

During World War II, at the age of 30, Nevarez joined the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1947, where he later received an honorable discharge with the rank of sergeant. He later became a commander of the Gen. Harrison Gray Otis Post of the American Legion. He subsequently joined the Monterey Park Post #397 where he was honored for 50 years of continuous membership.

He is survived by his wife, Theresa; his daughter, Margaret Nevarez; his son, Daniel Nevarez and his partner Crystal Nevarez; his daughter, Celia Nevarez-Goodman and her partner, Diane Goodman; and his grandchildren, Marcella Cortez, Alexandra Cortez, Marc Goodman-Nevarez, Joseph Nevarez, and Jeanine Lugo.

A 6 p.m. viewing will be held Jan. 5 at the Guerra Gutierrez Mortuaries followed by the Rosary at 7 p.m. The funeral mass will be held Jan. 6 at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Monterey Park.

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