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Frank G. La Barge, AIA

Frank was born in Pond Creek, Oklahoma, on December 6th, 1933. His family moved to California in 1936, driven West by the Dust Bowl. His parents, Bill and Pearl La Barge, ran the S & K Market on State Street for many years. Frank and his brother Bill worked in the market on the weekend. Frank also shined shoes on the corner of State and Carrillo streets. It was at Wilson Elementary School where he met his mentor and lifelong friend, Frank (Van) Van Schaick. He then attended La Cumbre Jr. High and SBHS (’51). Through these years he formed many lifelong friendships. Many outdoor adventures such as Van’s Camp Conestoga and trips to the Sierras instilled in him a love of nature which he retained throughout his life. Frank participated in many sports such as racquetball, running and walking. After Santa Barbara High School, he graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1955 with a B.A. in Architectural Engineering. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 until 1957.

Frank worked for Carl L. Maston, AIA, in Los Angeles for 6 years and then for Thomas Wells, AIA, in Honolulu for three years. He joined Kruger, Bensen, Ziemer in 1967 and was made a partner in 1984. He retired in 2004. Frank was a skilled craftsman, working in wood and tile in his home. He met and married Mary Louise Allen in Honolulu in 1967 and the couple then moved to Santa Barbara where they settled and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Frank is survived by his wife Mary Lou, son Luke Joseph and wife Hiroko Nancy, grandson Andre Makoto, daughter Molly de Lille, sister Mary Lenora, brother William Lee and wife Lois, and several nieces and nephews. Frank was a devoted husband and father, a good friend and a man of integrity. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

Frank designed many buildings here in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Hawaii including: the Lloyd T. Bush residence in Montecito, the County Bank (now Charles Schwab), the Santa Barbara County Social Services Center, Raytheon Building #9, the John S. Wright and Sons building, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Clyde P. Fisher Science Hall, and Long Beach City College Science Building.

A memorial service will be held at the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes at 2101 State Street on July 22nd at 1 pm with a reception following in the church hall.

His family would like to express their appreciation for the thoughtful and compassionate care given to Frank at Villa Alamar. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Santa Barbara.

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