Obituary: Ann Lester Farris


Ann Lester Farris, age 88, a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, passed away on November 18, 2023. She was born Elizabeth Ann Lester in Houston, Texas, in 1935. 

Ann moved to Laguna Beach in 1962 with her two young daughters. Arriving in California from Houston, the three of them got off the train in the middle of an orange grove in Fullerton. From there, they were whisked off to Laguna and the ‘Tower House’ on No. La Senda. Just a few months later, they moved to a rental on Myrtle Street for $100 a month. On Saturday, they would walk to Trotters Bakery on Forest for a special doughnut, then back home along Heisler Park. 

Ann had a little Hillman Minx car, and she and her daughters thrilled driving up and down steep 3rd Street. The three climbed the hill in South Laguna before there was ever a Valido Trail. She took her daughters to Yosemite, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon, art museums, and, of course, to the many beautiful beaches. 

Ann was drawn to artists, writers and other creative people. She had an innate appreciation for art and beauty in the world. She loved Laguna and her last home there more than any place else on earth. 

Ann was adventurous, a go-getter, and she lived a full and wonderful life.

Ann was preceded in death by a beautiful grandchild. She is survived by her devoted husband of 35 years, James Farris of Laguna Beach. She is also survived by her eldest daughter of Laguna Beach, her youngest daughter, Jenny DeBaun Howard, and her husband, Tom, of Petaluma, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Each of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved Ann as “Nonnie.”

There will be an Open House Celebration of Life at Ann’s cherished South Laguna home on January 25, 2024 from 1 to 3 p.m.

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