John Bemesderfer

1915 - 2010, Santa Barbara

John Bemesderfer, 94, born Dec. 31, 1915, in Fostoria, Ohio, died at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after a brief illness, Sunday, Mar. 21, 2010. A retired machinist, John, on coming to SB, spent a large part of his retirement years, beginning in 1980, as a volunteer. He worked for Direct Relief International, but was most beloved by young children and teachers throughout the community for his woodworking. John was resident 'toy maker and repairer', and adopted grandfather, at Santa Barbara State Preschool for many years.

He branched out to repair and make toys for many other child care centers. He brought his gifts to West Day Care, where he also found another local extended family, led by Jolee West, and her late daughter, his beloved Susie West. John received Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award from State Legislature in 1983 and a resolution from the city of SB in 1985.

John was an avid reader and coin collector, loved history, and writing. Many of those who worked with him remember the poems he wrote to honor them on special occasions.

John is survived by sister, Freda Bostic, and nephew, James Kulesza and his family, all of Ohio. He is also loved and remembered by his extended family here in SB: the Wests, and Beth and Margee Yeager and their family.

Celebration of John's life will be held on Sunday, March 28, 3-5 pm, 1210 Calle del Sol (Jolee West's house). Phone: 682-0618.

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