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ARTIST WITH A GREEN THUMB RETIRED PLUMBER DAN NAVARRO REMEMBERED FOR CREATIVE SPIRIT.

Byline: Holly J. Andres Staff Writer

A plumber by trade and an artist at heart, Dan Navarro took pride in his family, his home and service in the Marine Corps during World War II.

Navarro, who had lived in Mission Hills since 1947, died Aug. 4 of vascular disease at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. He was 81.

``My dad was artistic. When he was young he would draw cartoon caricatures, but his father said there's no money in that so he eventually became a plumber,'' said his daughter, Sylvia Hanes. ``He always drew caricatures, labeling them, and scenery on little pieces of paper while he was on the phone. We keep finding them at his house.''

Navarro's talent and meticulousness also showed up in the landscaping of his home. He built a stone waterfall in his backyard and designed a front walkway using concrete stained to resemble more expensive stone.

Hanes said her father also had a green thumb and was adept at growing avocados, tangelos, oranges and kumquats.

Navarro was born May 6, 1924, in San Fernando, and attended San Fernando elementary, junior and senior high schools. He enlisted in the Marines at 17 and served in the South Pacific in the Solomon and Gilbert islands.

Navarro married high school classmate Martha C. Mateus on June 11, 1945. His wife died in 1994.

After his military service, Navarro learned plumbing, becoming a journeyman plumber helping construct homes during the post-World War II housing boom in the San Fernando Valley. He was a member of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Union, Local 761, retiring in 1989.

``He was a shy man but once he got to know you, you were friends for life,'' said his brother, Frank Navarro. ``He was devoted to his family. His family came first. He was a loving, caring, decent man.''

Navarro enjoyed reading, watching televised Dodgers games and listening to swing music. His family said they also will remember his culinary ability, particularly his homemade soups.

``His biggest concern about today was that people didn't take pride in what they do or where they live. He thought that kids weren't taught to respect people, the police and teachers,'' Hanes said.

``He wasn't afraid to tell someone to pick up their trash. He would say, 'What's wrong with people?' He felt that people needed to set goals, earn a day's living and be ladies and gentlemen.''

Hanes said her dad also taught her that people need to be honest and respect one another.

``My dad was handsome, warm and a very loyal person,'' said Hanes. ``He was very polite. He always dressed nice. He was very well-respected. He was a wonderful man.''

Navarro is survived by Hanes and his son, Richard Navarro; three grandchildren; his sister, Mary Hernandez; and two brothers, Frank and Robert Navarro.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Thursday at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church in San Fernando. Navarro is buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills.

Donations in his memory can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Holly Andres, (818) 713-3708

holly.andres(at)dailynews.com

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Aug 14, 2005
Words:522
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