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Margarita Delbrook Villa

1913 - 2011, Santa Barbara

03/02/1913 - 12/05/2011

VILLA, Margarita Delbrook; born March 12, 1913 passed away on December 5, 2011 in Santa Barbara where she was born. She was surrounded by her loving family at Sarah House (Hospice Care) after suffering a recent stroke. Margarita was 6th generation descendant of Jose Dominguez of Presidio garrison of 1782. Recently having grown up on nearby Mason Street, she was honored as being the oldest member of the parish at the dedication of the remodeled Our Lady of Guadalupe Church .

She was born to George Grover Delbrook and Refugio Ovieda Delbrook and was raised by her grandmother Maria Elena Dominguez Lujan upon the death of her mother when she was 7 years old. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1931. She was married to Leroy William Villa for 67 years who predeceased her in 1999. Her brothers George, Delbrook Jr., and Richard Delbrook as well as her sister Frances Delbrook Romero have predeceased her as well as grandson Peter Todd Elkin.

She is survived by her sister Louise Sanchez of Carpinteria and her children Marjorie Elkin, LeRoy G. (Adrienne) Villa, William J. (Julie) Villa and Therese M. Villa. There are also 11 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

She worked as a waitress at the Coral Casino Club in the 1940's until 1950 when she helped in Lee’s Koffee Kup Kafe that she and Leroy owned until they had a fire which closed them down in 1956. She continued to cook meals for some of her clients in Montecito for a while as well as some catering.

She loved to share stories of her life including about the earthquake of 1925, living during the depression, the attack on us by the enemy sub in 1942. She defeated an episode of breast cancer in 1963. She liked to quote Eleanor Roosevelt and would say “if you don’t change with the times you get old”. She decided to learn and became fluent in French because of her Belgian roots, she also took computer classes at Santa Barbara High School in 1989 and continued to e-mail friends and family until the end.

Margarita and Leroy loved to travel and their favorite places being Mexico and Paris. They drove all around Europe many times as well as going through the Panama Canal. Since photography was also her hobby, she would give slide shows to those who would enjoy sharing her trips.

She was into genealogy and has been a docent volunteer at the Historical Museum and the Presidio for many years. She was a member of the Los Californianos and was a founding member of Los Descendientes de Santa Barbara. Since her forefathers came in the De Anza Expedition to found Santa Barbara, she was very involved in reenactments of the expedition and also belonged to Los Pobladores 200 de Los Angeles. She was also honored to be invited to Los Angeles to meet King Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain when he dedicated the statue of King Carlos III on the Placita on Olvera Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of Margarita Delbrook Villa payable to Sarah House, P. O. Box 20031, Santa Barbara 93102 or the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, P. O. Box 1403 Santa Barbara, CA 93102

McDermott-Crockett Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.

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