(Submitted by Tod Jonson)
Ektor Carranza was a founding member of Culinary Art Society of Ajijic 24 years ago. He was a Life Member of CASA. Ektor, being totally bilingual, brought the Mexican and Anglo community together through food.
Ektor was a generous, loving man and loved life — living twenty-five of those years here at Lakeside.
Ektor is a Life Member and volunteer of LCS, He was born into the famous Carranza family of Mexico. As a teenager he studied dance and music and toured with Amelia Hernandez’s “Ballet Folkloric” throughout Mexico and the United States. In L. A. he was asked to join the Pasadena Opera Company as a singer in “Madam Butterfly” starring Placido Domingo. He stayed on to sing in several operas. His singing voice was crystal clear and magnificent.
Ektor later worked for the L. A. Times, graduated from UCLA, and went to work for Parsons Graphics as an artist and eventually moved into documentary film production where he met his partner, Tod Jonson.
Together they formed their own documentary film company and over a dozen years produced six ‘Oscar’ nominations and won four as part of their parent company, Manson Distributing Corporation. Being an artist himself, Ektor, with Tod, created one of Beverly Hills’ most famous art galleries: Showcase Galleries.
After moving to Ajijic, Ektor became involved in the Lakeside community, particularly with the Lakeside Little Theatre. He has contributed his many skills and talents to a huge variety of projects and groups from the arts to food.
Since 2001 he had been working with Lake Chapala Society on the annual LCS directory. In 2001 Lakeside voted Ektor as a Good Will Ambassador to Mexico. The then Mayor (Raul Robles Puga) awarded him a citation from the City Hall as a thank you for introducing and pushing so many cultural components at Lakeside.
In 2002, Ektor was a driving force in getting the Ajijic community to help create, support, and sponsor the NORTHERN LIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL, now entering its 8th year.
Another big joy for Ektor was working side-by-side with Tod when they co-wrote for 18 months the Lakeside Living column for the El Ojo Del Lago. Ektor particularly enjoyed promoting Lakeside activities through the column.
Ektor’s crowning achievement was the building of fifty outstanding sets for the Lakeside Little Theatre, which he considered his second home. He acted in several plays but enjoyed creating sets more than other aspects of the theatre. Ektor will be long remembered for his wit, his enthusiasm and his ability to make something out of nothing.