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Remembering Mike O’Gara

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Mike O’Gara with Councilmember Nury Martinez, 2017

On March 25, 2022, we lost a long time community leader, mentor and friend, as Michael Luke O’Gara passed away at the age of 82. (Mike’s Obituary.) We are heartbroken, and send our sincere condolences to his family; his beloved wife, Barbara who also served on the SVANC board, his sons, Michael, Sean, & Matt and his grandchildren, Michael, Liam & Katie.

Mike was a man of passions, and anything he undertook, he did with complete dedication to the task at hand. He was a past SVANC president, a long time chair of the Planning and Land Use committee. He was very dedicated to the yearly Citizenship Workshops that eased the process of obtaining the dream of US citizenship to many members of our community.

Memorial Mass
May 6, 2022
12:00 pm
St. Charles Borromeo
10800 Moorpark St.
North Hollywood, CA 91602
May 6, 2022
1:00 pm
Smoke House
4420 Lakeside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505

If you can attend the Memorial Mass and Farewell Party and Celebration of Life,
please let the family know by going to:

Below we post some thoughts and remembrances from fellow SVANC board members and city officials that worked with Mike through the years (additional remembrances will be posted as they are sent to us.)

Mike O’Gara Tributes

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Tony Cárdenas
United States Representative

A staple in our Sun Valley community, Mr. O’Gara will be missed by all and remembered as someone who truly cared about making the Valley a better place to live for all of us.

Nury Martinez
Los Angeles City Council President, 6th Council District

We mourn the passing of Mike O’Gara, a longtime resident of Sun Valley. Mike was a community advocate, leader of the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council and a great friend. We are heartbroken, and send our sincere condolences to his family.

Luz Rivas
CA Assemblymember, 39th District

Our hearts go out to Barbara and the rest of the O’Gara clan, who were more than Mike’s pride and joy. They were his everything–even beyond his beloved SVANC, whose importance is well known to all of us who had the honor of working with him.

We will soon give a space for everyone who knew and loved him to leave their tributes. It may take some time to come to terms with this enormous loss. For now, let us simply quote Shakespeare:

“We shall never see his like again.”

Wendy Goodman Thum
President, SVANC

Honoring Mike O’Gara

It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of Mike O’Gara, a longtime resident of Sun Valley, community advocate, leader of the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council, and great friend.

As we say good bye to SVANC’s former president, Mike O’Gara, I want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to Mike for introducing me to the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council, for being an example of leadership and for being an inspiration to me. I want to express my admiration for the work he did at SVANC and for the many hours he dedicated to help improve our community and the lives of the residents of Sun Valley.

There are not enough words to thank him for having such a big heart and for being there when members of the community needed him. He quietly helped those in need. He did not need an audience to land a hand when a neighbor passed away and the family needed support or when Covid-19 hit and people needed food because they were not able to go out to get it themselves.

I will personally miss the yellow roses he gave away for Mother’s Day during the SVANC’s regular board meeting and his unique way of apologizing with flowers. I will miss him as a leader, as an icon of my community, as a neighbor, and as a great friend.
May he rest in peace
Norma O. Chávez
Secretary, SVANC

No hay palabras para expresar la profunda tristeza que siento por la partida de nuestro colega y amigo Mike O’Gara. Era una persona fuerte, inteligente, estricta y honesta con un gran corazón y un espiritu tierno. Siempre voy a admirar su valentía, su fuerza y su dedicación para servir a la comunidad de Sun Valley. ¡Descanse en paz! Bendiciones a su familia

There are no words to express the profound sadness I feel by the loss of our colleague and friend Mike O’Gara. He was a strong, intelligent, strict, and honest person with a warm spirit and a big heart. I will always admire his courage, strength, and dedication to serve the community of Sun Valley. May he rest in peace. Blessings to the family.

Rosalío García
SVANC Board Member


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