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Larry' Guerrero Obituary

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Larry' Guerrero Obituary

Avi | Mar 31, 2003 05:17 PM

I hope that nobody objects my posting this obituary from today's Chronicle. The founder of Larry's Mexican Restaraunt contributed, no doubt, much to our collective enjoyment and has a place in local food lore.

`Larry' Guerrero, owner of Mexican restaurant
By ROBERT CROWE
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Eberardo "Larry" Guerrero, an Army veteran and owner of a landmark Mexican restaurant in Richmond, died Thursday from surgery complications. He was 75.

Inspired by the cuisine and decor of a Houston restaurant, Guerrero became an entrepreneur and opened Larry's Mexican Restaurant in Richmond in February 1960.

For the past 43 years, generations of Fort Bend County residents have dined at the family-owned establishment, said Christopher Ramirez, 30, Guerrero's grandson.

"The restaurant has become a tradition," said Ramirez, who now manages Larry's. "It's a special thing when our family watched our customers' families grow and our customers watched us grow."

He said most of the employees have worked there at least 20 years.

Guerrero, who lived in the Richmond-Rosenberg area his whole life, was a construction foreman who helped build NASA's Clear Lake campus and many regional power plants during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He met and befriended Felix Tijerina Sr., owner of Felix Mexican Restaurant in the Montrose area, and Ninfa Lorenzo, founder of the Ninfa's Mexican restaurant chains.

"It was when he went to Felix (the restaurant) and was inspired by the food and atmosphere that he decided Richmond needed a good Mexican restaurant," said Gloria Jeffers, Guerrero's daughter.

Tijerina advised Guerrero on opening and running the restaurant, while Lorenzo, who had not yet opened Ninfa's but owned a tortilla-making business, supplied Larry's Mexican Restaurant with her famous flat bread.

Guerrero later opened Larry's restaurants in Wharton, Seabrook and southwest Houston. He scaled back, but the family still owns and operates the original Richmond and Wharton locations.

When he was 16, Guerrero lied about his age and joined the Merchant Marines. He served in the Army during World War II when he was 18.

Guerrero is survived by his wife, Beatrice; sons Eddie and Larry; daughters Jeffers and Sylvia Gamber; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Davis-Greenlawn Funeral Home in Rosenberg.

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