Born in Chico, Lester Elmore served in the Merchant Marine in the
Pacific theater during World War II and moved to Monrovia when the
war ended. Judy Elmore said the family moved to Newport Beach in
In the automobile business, Lester Elmore sold a variety of cars,
including Triumphs, Renaults and Fiats. In 1966, he opened Elmore
Toyota in Westminster, before Toyotas and other Japanese imports
became major forces in the automotive market.
"He didn't know it at the time, but that was a real significant
thing to do. It was the right thing to do," Judy Elmore said.
In December, Lester Elmore's business expanded with the opening of
Elmore Hyundai in Costa Mesa.
David McHowell, general manager at Elmore Toyota, said Lester
Elmore's death came as a shock to him. McHowell described Lester
Elmore as the most amazing person he has ever known.
In addition to Judy Elmore, Lester Elmore is survived by his
daughter Georgia Mangosing; seven grandchildren; and 11
"All of the kids have worked at Elmore Toyota at one time or
another," Judy Elmore said.