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Death Takes Landscaper Henry C. Soto

May 18, 1986

Henry C. Soto, an innovator in the Southern California landscape industry, died May 7. He was 65.

He had come to the Los Angeles area in 1943 from his native Kingman, Ariz., area home and established one of the largest landscape contracting firms in California. His major jobs included landscaping of the original Los Angeles International Airport property, most of the major freeway areas, the city of Lakewood and scores of commmerial and industrial areas.

He developed the 12,000-acre Holiday Shores project near Bullhead City, Calif., along the Colorado River, and most recently had become involved in moving and saving large landmark trees throughout the semi-desert area.

Soto, a member of a Spanish immigrant and pioneer cattle- ranching family in Kingman, was active in community and civic affairs and was a co-founder and second president of the nation's oldest and largest landscaping contractors association, the California Landscape Contractors Assn.

He and his wife, Rose Marie Head, president of Compton-based Four Seasons Gardens, enlisted fellow landscape contractors in charitable landscaping projects, among them the Children's Institute International, the Exceptional Children's Foundation and the Estrella Avenue Children's Park.

He also was asked by Lady Bird Johnson, then the nation's First Lady--an avid environmentalist--to tour the country, encouraging cities to undertake beautification and community pride projects.

A scholarship fund has been established in his name "to encourage students interested in environment and the saving of trees." Gifts may be sent to the Henry C. Soto Scholarship Foundation, care of the Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia 91006-2697, to the attention of Francis Ching.

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