Margaret Marini Griffin
1945 - 2017
Her irresistible positive attitude never left.
Yes, you know who she was. The woman who drove around Santa Barbara in a 1965 Bahama Blue (light green) Bug from her university and college days. It was her first and last car. She tooled around town with husband and dogs in tow.
She was Santa Barbara High School’s Betty Crocker homemaker of the year 1963, my, how things change. She lived up to the distinction hosting Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easters and a couple of weddings at her home sometimes with 40 guests or more and preparing everything from soup to nuts herself, well… she used her boys and husband as scullery maids.
Her home was the go to hangout for her sons and their friends.
Dearly loved by her students greeting her on the streets of Santa Barbara, who she sometimes pretended to recognize, but they sure knew her. They remember mummifying chickens as though they were pharaohs from her Egyptology lessons, and they remember negotiating with their check books in micro society. Her 5th and 6th graders, her favorite ages, could be sweetly sassy and she loved their challenges. Former students bathed her at Cottage Hospital, talk about role reversal.
After 25 years of teaching she returned to the classroom and for years with her engineer brother, Ed, formed groups of students in engineering contests using straws, tennis balls and tooth pick bridges.
Married July 19, 1969, she and Tom, from the Pierpont Inn, watched Neil Armstrong join them on the moon the next morning after a final raucous gathering the prior night with the wedding party who got the maid of honor, Elaine, drunk at Chuck’s, and squeezing out of her where they were staying the first night.
Give and take guided them through 47 years of marriage but everyone knew who was in charge.
The family expresses their affection and appreciation for the Sansum staff, Cottage Healthcare givers and UCLA experts and facilities for easing her into her next life after attending the Santa Barbara Mission as a child parishioner, bride (father Virgil presiding), and as a mother and grandmother. She, her children and granddaughters were born at Cottage Hospital. Her grandsons were born in Houston.
Her trade mark smile in death, as in life, and seeing the good in everyone, were her most memorable gifts to us. “Mammy” was incredible. As much as she wanted to stay she left us with that smile on her face until the last moments, with her men Tom, Matt, Cullen, and her brother Ed taking turns holding her hand in those final hours at the UCLA Ronald Regan Medical Center.
Margaret was predeceased by Angelo (Babe) Marini and Amelia Varni Marini. Margaret is survived by her husband, Tom, sons Matt (Jennifer) and Cullen (Phoebe), grandchildren Amelia and Harlyn, Thor and Titus, her brother Ed Marini (Karen), nieces and nephew. And extended family.
She was a wonderful woman and will be deeply missed.
Services will be held at the Santa Barbara Mission on Friday, May 5th at 11:00 a.m.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Griffin residence, May 6th at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Sansum Clinic Endocrinology Dept., P.O. Box 1200, Santa Barbara, Ca. 93102