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In Memoriam

Fred Talarico

October 31, 1946 – May 5, 2022

In Memoriam Fred Talarico

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Courtesy of the Talarico Family

Fred Talarico was born on Halloween 1946 in Chicago, Illinois to loving parents Mary and Joseph Talarico. After the untimely passing of his father, the Talarico family left Chicago in 1956 and moved to Alhambra, California to be near relatives. Fred graduated from Alhambra High School and California State University, Los Angeles, where he served as president of Phi Sigma Kappa. He then attended the University of Southern California for graduate work before being drafted into the Army. 

Fred met his lovely wife, Pamela Talarico, at registration day for Cal State L.A. in 1966. They married in 1969 just before he served in Vietnam. If asked about his time in Vietnam, he would only tell you the surf looked great and that he played a lot of basketball. 

After his safe return from Vietnam and a summer of VW camping with Pam and friends in Europe, Fred began working for the Orange County Planning Department. There he helped update the County’s General Plan to incorporate a Housing Element which in turn established much of the land uses and housing seen today in Orange County. Later, he joined the City of Newport Beach as a Principal Planner where he became known as a preeminent California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Coastal Act specialist; both new laws enacted in the 1970s set the course for much of California’s development to this day. For the remainder of his career, he was in the private sector, first as principal/owner of Sanchez Talarico & Associates (STA) and later as principal/owner of Vista Community Planners (with a brief stint at EDAW – now AECOM between the two). Fred had involvement in many small and large projects around the state and the stories to go with them.      

Pam and Fred moved to Bluebird Canyon in Laguna Beach in 1972, where they raised three children, (Nikki, Jakki and Aaron) all of which grew up in Laguna attending public schools. He was a very active parent – coaching, refereeing, and driving everyone around. If he wasn’t taking Nikki to music and dance or Jakki to gymnastics, you’d find him with Aaron at tennis, soccer or Little League at Riddle Field. Fred always had time for his kids, whether it was talking with them on the phone every day or taking them to breakfast, lunch or a mid-afternoon coffee break. He especially loved bringing his family skiing which he and Pam took up later in life. As the grandkids started skiing, his advice was “If you get them on the first lift with their boots and skis and both gloves on, you’ve won the day.”

Fred loved the ocean, skiing, and traveling. Even though Aaron and his wife Catherine attended Notre Dame, Fred’s favorite team was his beloved Trojans.  You’d often see him around town with a ND hat and a SC shirt. It was always a good conversation starter. He loved walking the beaches in Laguna, either by himself or with one of his close friends. Shortly after Pam’s retirement from teaching they bought a house in Princeville, Kauai which they visited regularly.  They always kept the house open for friends and family to use as Fred always did things to keep his family and good friends close. 

Fred could be seen many a morning in Laguna getting coffee at one of the city’s rotation of breakfast spots (Zinc, Heidelberg, Orange Inn and the Penguin Cafe being some of his favorites). Usually, you could find him at one of these locations with a grandkid or two or three, having the best time.

Fred’s greatest love was for his wife of 52 years, Pam. He would tell his kids that if he had never met their Mom he’d probably still be hanging out at his fraternity at Cal State L.A. He loved traveling with Pam, going to movies and dinner with her, Broadway shows, art museums, and even shopping. He had a deep respect for her as a mother and as a teacher and he trusted her to make decisions for their children and the family. Most of all, he simply loved being around her and supporting her in everything she did. 

Fred is survived by his wife of 52 years, Pam, daughters Nikki Talarico and Jakki (Greg) Tonkovich, son Aaron (Catherine) Talarico, and his five grandchildren Colten and Taitlyn Tonkovich and Caroline, Claire, and Andrew Talarico. He is also survived by his sister Evelyn (John) Bondi and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews that he loved. 

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach. A link can be viewed at where you can leave comments for the family.