CASA GRANDE — Jesus "Chuy" Lara, 44, a Casa Grande Police officer, died on Jan. 4, 2022, in Chandler after battling COVID-19.

Mr. Lara was born on May 24, 1977, in Eloy. He followed his dream to be a police officer and worked for the Gila River Police Department for two years and Casa Grande Police Department for six years. He was well known throughout Casa Grande and Pinal County. He was an active participant in area sports leagues, but his true passion was in coaching area youth teams. He provided a positive influence and mentored countless Pinal County youths.

The same passion motivated him as a police officer. His coworkers and community members valued him for his kindheartedness and empathy when dealing with children and other victims of crime. He touched many lives. He played softball with his team BigHouse and golfed on the team Sanchos. He loved to mountain bike and hike. He coached his daughter's softball team, Force, and his son's baseball team, Royals. He was devoted to his family and was a true family man.

Survivors include his wife, Kristi; two daughters, Brisa Bolanos and Alia Lara of Casa Grande; a son, Izak Lara of Casa Grande; his father, Salvador "Sal" Lopez of Arizona City; and four brothers, Ray Martinez of Phoenix, Carlos "Los" Lara of Mesa; Diego Lopez of Eloy and EJ Lujan of Casa Grande. 

Police procession beginning at about 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, from Heritage Casa Grande Funeral Home to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Visitation beginning at 1:30, rosary recited at 2 and funeral Mass following. Police honors after the service outside the church. Service livestreamed on St. Anthony of Padua Facebook page. Wearing of masks requested. Celebration of life gathering from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pinal Fairgrounds and Event Center.

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