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Jo Ann Couch

1942 - 2011, Santa Barbara

08/28/1942 - 01/25/2011

We have lost our beloved Jo. She died Tuesday, January 25, 2011, doing what she loved most: riding her horse at home on the ranch.

Jo was born to Hermine and Stan Rosin on August 28, 1942, in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in a loving family in Palm Springs (winters) and Catalina (summers) where her family history goes back to 1886. Her caring nature, her beauty and her inventive mind were already easily discerned. As a child in Avalon, she dove for coins tossed by tourists from the steamships, including one that carried her coin-tossing husband-to-be, Jeff (35 years later) Most of all, Jo grew up loving horses.

Reluctantly, she left her jeans and boots behind to study at UC Berkeley and UCLA, followed by graduate school, earning a Master’s Degree in Education at UCLA. She then taught French in the Beverly Hills school system for 24 years. Her skillful teaching was laced with a delightful, subtle humor that endeared her to her students.

Having initially met in Japan in 1961, Jo and her eventual husband, Jeff Couch, each followed a long and winding road back to each other. They married in 1986. That road ultimately led to the Santa Ynez Valley, where a lifelong dream was realized nine years ago when the couple was able to build a ranch in the idyllic hills of Los Alamos. Jeff joined Jo’s close knit family, sharing precious moments in Catalina, skiing, exploring the world, often with her son, Dan, and Jeff’s sons, Justin and Jamie.

Intrepid and adventuresome, Jo lived every moment to the fullest. She went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, skiing in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps (yes, all three), jet boating in New Zealand, class four river rafting on the “River of No Return” in Idaho, and did competitive equestrian show jumping. Even more important was her intellectual curiosity which embraced, but was not limited to: literature, world affairs, civic involvement, politics and music. She avidly explored new authors with her book group friends and helped form an investment group. She studied classical piano, yet had a secret wish to be a rock star. She also admitted to a newfound love of opera. Jo was active in politics, even traveling to other states to champion a cause. Most recently she discovered, to her amazement, a long-hidden talent for painting. You are invited to see her work at an exhibition dedicated to her: February 11th – March 7th, at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, 2375 Foothill Road, Santa Barbara. She was indeed a Renaissance woman. Her enthusiasm for the people in her life was boundless, though we’ll never know if she loved us as much as she loved her animals!

To those of us she has left behind: her husband, Jeff, her son, Dan Dominguez (Dianne), Jeff’s sons, Jamie Couch and Justin Couch (Erin), his sister, Nancy Teggeman (Gary), his brother Charles Couch (Lynn), Jo’s sister, Buzzy (Barbara) Gogny, nieces and nephew, Corinne Cascante, Ariane Gogny, Marshall Platt (Elana) and seven grand nieces and nephews who had a special bond with her, Jo leaves us her spontaneous humor with its inimitable sense of timing, her beauty inside and out, her range of emotion and depth of feeling for all creatures, large and small.

We will gather to celebrate Jo’s life on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., at her home at 7527 Old Careaga Ranch Road, Los Alamos, CA 93440. For detailed information, please e-mail jocouchinfo@gmail.com. For those who wish, donations can be made to the following organizations dear to her heart:

Avalon Beautiful (Old Ben Park)
P.O. Box 1272
Avalon, CA 90704
Tel: 310 510-1748

American Cancer Society
On line at www.cancer.org
P.O. Box 22718
Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718
Tel: 800 227-2345

Children’s Project (Academy in Los Alamos)
On line at www.childrensprojectsb.org
3905 State Street, Suite 7512
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Tel: 805 682-5419

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