Quiros loss keenly felt


    The following letter was written to the family of surveyor Mario Quiros who died last week.

    I wish to express my condolences to the Quiros family and let you know that I feel strongly for you in your loss. I, too, feel a great loss at Mario’s passing. We were friends and business colleagues in Malibu since 1958. I can now hear in my mind one of my standard Mario phrases about Mario when recommending him. “If everyone were like Mario, we’d have no wars.”

    Mario was straight, honest and one of the most giving persons I’ve known in our long time together. He consistently and thoughtfully volunteered to outline every problem I might face in my intended building project.

    Early in 1958, Mario and I shared an office on the second floor of the old Chris-Craft building (now the Tide-Pool Gallery). At that time the designer with whom I was sharing the office left unexpectedly after the first month, leaving me to pay the full amount. I remained in my newly established architectural office and told Cap, the owner of Chris-Craft, the person from whom we were leasing, that I could only afford half the rent. Cap said we’d quickly have to find someone else to help me.

    Mario became that someone else. Mario softened my financial burden and allowed me the opportunity of becoming one of Malibu’s first architects. During the 45 years of our parallel careers, our paths have crossed many times on mutual jobs, and though neither Mario nor I spoke of it, I felt Mario’s strong caring for me, as I for him.

    Many years ago, he asked me for a professional opinion on a house he and Lavonia were considering buying on the beach. He wanted to know if $37,500 was too much to pay for a one-bedroom on Sea Level Drive. I advised him that of all the houses on Sea level Drive at that time, the one he and Lavonia had chosen was by far the best. Mario and Lavonia bought the house. It was small but the kids would have fresh air and ocean.

    During our friendship I saw the tiny room where Lavonia and Mario raised their three youngsters. A triple bunk bed, I believe. I was amazed at how such strong, solid, honest, straightforward young people could have emerged from such a tiny space. Evidently the size of the kid’s room has nothing to do with how the kids will turn out. Their parents imparted the correct moral values and for this I have much admiration.

    Eventually Mario Jr. came to work with Mario Sr. and, sure enough, the same attitude, thoroughness, honesty and straightforwardness were being carried forth. I appreciated the friendly help Mario gave me beyond the call of duty and I appreciate the dozens of answers to my questions, maps, prints and knowledgeable conversation that consistently flowed out of Mario during our 45 years of association. Mario was responsible and generous to a fault.

    Were I to talk to Mario today, I’d have to say I appreciated his being here and appreciate God, or the unknowable forces, that we were in this lifetime together. I will retain Mario’s good values within me as my own. Perhaps that is what is meant when it is said one never dies. People continuing with life remember the goodness and retain the better values of those who suddenly are no longer with us. Certainly Mario’s values remain in me and I’m sure in everyone he touched.

    I felt, as his loving wife, Lavinia, felt, “I thought Mario’d be around forever.”

    Doug Rucker