Betty Factor, the co-founder with her husband of the Mar Vista Family Center in Del Rey that promotes early childhood and family development, has died. She was 82.

Factor died Monday, April 24th, due to complications of cancer at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, her family said.

Factor and her husband, Monte, founded the Mar Vista Family Center in 1977 at a facility on Slauson Avenue in Del Rey, adjacent to the Mar Vista Gardens housing project.

The Mar Vista Family Center was created to serve an at-risk community as a parent-participation childcare pre-school.

It is dedicated to creating community transformation through a comprehensive program that addresses the needs of families, schools and youths through shared responsibility and parent participation, according to Mar Vista Center officials.

The program provides an environment where people can take personal responsibility for creating positive change in their lives and communities, officials said.

Lucia Diaz, Mar Vista Family Center executive director, said Factor was a “very powerful” woman who had a strong vision for early childhood education, parent involvement and social change.

“She was a very caring, responsible and friendly person,” said Diaz, who has known Factor for 25 years. “She always cared for people and gave support without expecting to receive anything in return.

“She empowered individuals to create positive change in our families and communities by taking personal responsibilities in our lives.”

When Factor and her husband founded the Mar Vista Family Center, a significant challenge they faced was learning how to implement a long-term solution where residents could learn to share the responsibility of rebuilding their neighborhood, organization officials said.

Workshops and activities were created to help residents, parents and teenagers develop into skilled staff members and neighborhood leaders. Mar Vista Center has grown into a full family service center divided into three programs, including preschool, youth and community, and all program staff members are community residents.

“She felt like she had the need to contribute something to society and that’s what she did here,” Diaz said of Factor. “She left us a legacy that we will continue with the same passion that she had.”

Factor was born February 4th, 1924 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Samuel and Rose Berch, and the family came to Los Angeles in 1929.

Her parents were founding members of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in the mid-Wilshire district and owned Arden Farms Dairy on Slauson Avenue.

She attended UCLA when she was 16 years old and married Monte Factor in 1945.

During their more than 60 years of marriage, the couple raised a family, operated a men’s clothing store and collected artwork of mostly Los Angeles-based contemporary artists.

Factor is survived by her husband, Monte; four children, Tom, Diane, Peter and Patricia; and five grandchildren, Rose, Marcel, Nathan, Luc and Willa.

Donations in Factor’s memory can be made to the Mar Vista Family Center, 5075 Slauson Ave., Culver City 90230.

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