May 13, 1927 - February 10, 2020
Born in Fresno, California
Resided in Salinas, California
An altar boy and graduate of Sacred Heart parochial school, and a graduate of Salinas High School, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard and was honorably discharged after years of service.
Returning to Salinas, he began his working career as a butcher in Pacific Grove. Shortly thereafter he became engaged to his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Dorothy “Dot” Ottone. The two raised five children. After working several years in the banking industry, he transitioned to agricultural production and enjoyed working for Merrill Farms for forty-two years, many of them spent as a field superintendent with well-known expertise in asparagus and celery crops.
An active member of the Knights of Columbus, Elks, Italian Catholic Federation, Grower Shipper Association, and Joe Gheen Committee for the Salinas Rodeo. He became well known in the Salinas community for his abilities related to preparing BBQ and delicacies for large events and gatherings. An avid tennis player and golfer, he was a fixture at the Salinas Golf and Country Club for many years.
He was preceded in death by son, David Lerda.
He leaves behind Dorothy, with whom he recently celebrated an incredible seventy years of marriage, and their devoted and loving daughters, Kathy (Lerda) Peele, (Ken), Laurie Lerda-Plog, (Chuck), Leslie Lerda, and Julie (Lerda) Robertson (Jeff). He was graced in life by eight grandsons, each of whom he adored, Michael Leach, (Amber), Nicolas Peele, Christopher Caudill, (Tiffany), Ryan Caudill, Brett Robertson, (Valerie), Matthew Robertson, (Kristin), Alex Lerda-Plog, (Britta), and Andrew Lerda- Plog, as well as three great-grandsons, Aiden Leach, Jaxxon Peele, and Sawyer Caudill. He also leaves behind his sister, Frances Mazzei, many nieces and nephews, and many extended family members from both the Lerda and Ottone lineages.
He will be missed by not only the entire family, but by the community he touched on a daily basis for many decades.
A Celebration of Life will be held at The Club at Crazy Horse Ranch at 2:00 PM on Friday, February 21st, 2020 located at 475 San Juan Grade Road in Salinas, CA. 93906.
Salinas, California 93906