Former Venice resident Verelene “Lee” Glaser, a former longtime employee and part owner of Hinano Café in Venice, passed away Aug. 24. She was 79.

Glaser moved from Texas to Venice in the early 1960s and she started working at Hinano Café in 1963, only one year after it opened. After working for over 30 years as a bartender, she decided to become a partner in the bar ownership instead of retiring. Glaser had continued working at Hinano until she had a stroke that hospitalized her in 2005.

Glaser had served as a mother figure to numerous teenagers who are now adults in the Venice community, friends said. She was also someone who served as a “guiding force” to numerous people in the Venice area, helping people through hard times, friends said.

Numerous patrons recalled Glaser celebrating good times with them and how she would remind them when it was time to leave the bar. Friends called Glaser a great woman.

She is survived by seven children and numerous others who considered her family.

A memorial service and spreading of her ashes is scheduled at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Hinano Café, 15 Washington Blvd., Venice.

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