Brooke E. Sawyer Jr.

1925 - 2016

Brooke Sawyer died September 30th at home at Valle Verde, Santa Barbara. He was 91 years old.

The son of Brooke E. Sawyer, Sr., and Mabel Gerhard Edwards, Brooke was born in Redlands and spent his early years living on the family farm near Saticoy. He attended The Thacher School in Ojai and the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity; earned his bachelor’s degree in soil science; and met Barbara, his wife of 66 years.

Following graduation from Cal, Brooke began married life on the family citrus and avocado ranch in Santa Paula, and worked in various capacities for The Samuel Edwards Associates. The family moved to Davis in 1958, where Brooke earned his master’s degree in irrigation and water science at UCD, and then a doctorate in education at Stanford University. His career encompassed farming and college administration, including at California State University Sacramento, the California State University Moss Landing Marine Labs, and Pomona College in Claremont. Following his retirement in 1977 he and Barbara settled full time in the family’s summer home in Santa Barbara.

Brooke was an avid sailor, hiker, skier, tennis player and world traveler. He served in the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War, retiring from the Naval Reserve as a full Commander. He was a longtime member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and skipper of first a ketch, and then a cutter, each named the Mary Powell after his great-grandfather’s Hudson River steamboat. He was an avid supporter of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and its Sea Center, working in many capacities as a volunteer for both. He was a dedicated Rotarian, and a member of Rotary Clubs that included Santa Paula, Sacramento East, Claremont, Montecito and Santa Barbara Sunrise. He was a faithful and active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Santa Paula, St. Martin’s in Davis, St. Ambrose in Claremont, and All Saints by the Sea in Montecito. In all of his community activities he was a fervent advocate for educational opportunities.

Brooke was preceded in death by Barbara. He is survived by his sisters Carol and Holly; by his sons and daughters-in-law Robert and Alison, Andrew and Carol Bingham, and Peter and Donna Jones; by his grandchildren Jessica (Robert Gwilliam), Sarah (Alain Mathaukot), Martin, Ruth, Katherine and Kristin; and by his great-grandson Sawyer Bayonne.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service for Brooke to be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday November 26th at All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church, 83 Eucalyptus Lane, Montecito CA 93108, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to remember Brooke as they make their own gifts to favorite charities and non-profit organizations.

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