Laura Ann Catalino was born October 22, 1964, in Buffalo, New York, to Lewis and Suzanne Catalino. She passed away at her home in Laguna Beach at 1:58 a.m. Saturday, July 8, 2023, in the arms of her loving husband, Marc Hoffman. A very rare and aggressive form of cancer took her from us at just 58 years old.
Laura graduated from Lake Shore High School in 1982 and then attended Rochester Institute Technology graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Laura continued her education at Pepperdine University, receiving her MBA in Global Business and Finance. Laura started her career with Jordan Marsh in Boston. Laura then moved from retail to financial investing. Laura’s true passion for finance was evident, not just for the companies she worked for, but her time advising family and friends. Laura worked for The Boston Company in Boston and Los Angeles. Laura had a long and successful career selling various financial products around the world. Most recently, Laura joined M360 Advisors in Ladera Ranch as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. M360 Advisors’ niche strategy is investing in a specialized commercial real estate segment of private placement credit, where Laura created long-term relationships with numerous family offices through her tenure there. In 2019, Laura was recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the top women in business in Orange County. Laura had a love for cooking, attending the Ritz Culinary School in Paris and was a Fellow at the Culinary Institute of America.
Laura waited to marry her soulmate, marrying her long-time forever boyfriend, Marc Hoffman, on Sept. 3, 2022, on the bluff at The Montage Laguna Beach. For the wedding, Laura reminisced that it was a fairytale come true, and it truly was. It was a perfect summer day, with 80 close family and friends enjoying an oceanfront ceremony, with a farm-to-table dinner and dancing under the stars.
Laura met Marc in early 2016, and after a second date, when Marc repaired Laura’s shoe that broke while walking, Laura knew she had met her man. Laura and Marc spent several years traveling, taking long and aggressive back-country hikes in the Palm Desert, Laguna Beach and all the places they traveled. Most recently, on May 19, Laura and Marc hiked up to 10,000 feet in Sante Fe, New Mexico, on an 8-mile round trip adventure to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy. Laura and Marc truly did everything together, cooking, playing gin, reading, investing, hiking and traveling. They were the best of friends.
Laura enjoyed traveling and exploring as she visited over 90 countries around the world, including the Soviet Union, before the fall of Communism, most of Africa and much of Europe. Laura always had a small bag packed and was ready to go when the adventure called. Laura was enchanted by the arts. No matter where she went, she spent hours consumed in the art at local museums. Laura was an explorer of knowledge, spending hours reading, researching and looking into what she was working on from all angles to make sure she was doing it right.
Laura, as they say, was bigger than life. She always had a smile and a warm gesture for everyone she met. Laura, for decades, kept a large circle of friends, a testament to the love she had for everyone. She had a fabulous contingent of girlfriends around the world and a local Newport Beach posse that she kept together for more than three decades. Laura loved being out and about with all of them as she enjoyed all kinds of gatherings. The more, the better, as she liked to say. She preferred being out with friends or at a party then being at home. The consistent phrase in remembering Laura, her grace. Laura’s inner and outer beauty, the desire to assist and help anyone, as she would constantly put others before herself, giving her time to all those around her.
Laura was full of style. Her talent for dressing the part for any event and being the woman to stand out didn’t go unnoticed. Laura was constantly asked by both friends and family for advice on the proper attire and creating one’s own individual style.
Laura was the primary caregiver to her special needs sister Diane for the last 18 years. Laura spent an enormous amount of time being a big sister, mom and grandmother for Diane and all of Diane’s friends at Ashling’s Residential Villa in Costa Mesa. Every year Laura made a large calendar with the memories of the prior year’s fun of Diane’s life. The calendar was the big delivery during Diane’s monthlong birthday celebration each year. Whether shuttling Diane to numerous camps throughout the year or taking Diane, her boyfriend, Rafe and her best buddy, Josh, to Burger Lounge for lunch, the laughter was always there. The best part of Laura’s life was seeing Diane blossom over the last several years. Laura and Diane loved to laugh together; the photos will remind us how she could always make Diane smile.
Laura was dedicated to mentoring young women. Through her roles at Acumen, an organization founded in 2001, to use the power of entrepreneurship to build a world where everyone had the opportunity to live with Dignity. Laura attended several events around the world, supporting this work. Laura dreamed one day of setting up a financial literacy program for underprivileged young women in the Orange County area. As a precursor of this, Laura was a significant supporter of Just in Time Foster Youth in San Diego, a program that helps mentor and provide structure and financial assistance to both young men and women when they age out of the foster system. Her passion for service began earlier on in Los Angeles as Laura was a Big Sister to several young women.
Laura’s energy, love, compassion and huge smile lit up everyone and every place she went, and they will be deeply missed and cherished. Laura leaves behind her (Bird) husband, Marc Hoffman of Laguna Beach, brother, David Catalino and sister-in-law, Jeanette Day of La Jolla Beach, sister, Diane Catalino and boyfriend, Rafe Day of Costa Mesa, and her best pal, Josh Kerr of Costa Mesa, along with all her friends at Ashling’s. Laura also leaves Marc’s brother, Shep Hoffman, a constant presence in Laura’s life, along Marc’s two sons, Noah and Jared. Last, all her girlfriends, the incredible support system that provided encouragement and love until the end. Marc is eternally thankful for all you did.
Laura’s mark on the world will be with us for as long as we are here. We love you and cherish you, Laura. Life will not be the same without you.