Carla “Desiree” Diana Lautman, age 55, was born on March 13, 1964, in Glendale, California, the daughter of Joseph Lautman, originally from Hungary, and Wilhelmina Van Halm Lautman from Holland (both deceased). She grew up in Simi Valley, then moved to Ventura and lived there for the last 30 years of her life.

Carla is survived by four siblings: three brothers, Joseph William Lautman, Brian Mark Lautman and Dean Edward Lautman; and her sister, Evelyn Johanna Harvey, with her husband, Nathan Harvey, and their two children Bo Warren Harvey and “Addie” Addison Katelina Harvey. 

When Carla was in her youth she was extremely athletic, and worked with children as a Recreation Leader and Girl Scout Leader. She also volunteered at the Simi Valley Senior Center. She was in team sports at Royal High School and continued running after graduation, even completing the City of Los Angeles Marathon VIII, a 26-mile race.

Carla was a writer and photographer and spent her life learning all she could, taking courses at the colleges, online and seminars. She received many certifications related not only to business and her employment skills but also for Resident Leadership Programs and empowering her peers. She spent many hours helping the homeless and spending time with those in need, but most of all spreading the love of Jesus and sharing her passion for the Lord.

She was president of the Resident Advisory Council and recognized by the San Buenaventura Housing Authority. In her free time, she sewed, played the guitar and sang praise worship to the Lord.

Carla never met a stranger and made it a point to notice and talk to all the people she could in every adventure, even if it was just going to the store. She always had her camera with her and was ready to take pictures of everything and everyone to save the memories and bless others. She found so much joy in gifting those she knew. Carla was a bold and flamboyant woman with a contagious laugh. Her light will only shine brighter in her body’s passing as she is with the lover of her soul. She is most likely organizing activities in her given mansion in Heaven.

A memorial service, open to all, will be on Friday, July 26, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Cornerstone Community Church, 2080 Winifred St., Simi Valley.

Editor’s note: Desiree would often call the VCReporter about life and her musings, or send packages to gift groovy ankle socks and peppermint taffy, all starting with a letter of good cheer that was published during Christmas 2018. When the news broke that a woman and her dog died due to smoke inhalation in the sky-rise apartment building on Palm Street in Downtown Ventura, the idea that it could be her wasn’t even a thought — her official adopted name Desiree was not used in the reports. Her brother called a month later to express the news and her absence. Her exuberant spirit is missed.