On August 12, the earthly adventures of Nina Borie concluded.

She was born in London, England, on May 17, 1925, to Emil and Vida Kiesler. In her youth, she traveled from England to Hamburg, Germany, then to Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich, Switzerland. She went to school both in Hamburg, Germany, and in Teufen, Switzerland.

In September of 1945, she was issued a visa for travel to the United States of America, departing from Marseille on September 20, 1945. She arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, on October 9, 1945. She lived in New York City with her guardians, William Richard and Marie (Tante Mariechen) Steinway.

There, she met and married William H. Borie on February 28, 1946. He offered her a life as a rich woman or a beach bum. She chose to be a beach bum, and they moved to Santa Barbara, California. Three children, Barbara Marie, Marguerita Scott, and William Richard “Scott” came into the world as a result—and a menagerie of animals and pets completed the family.

Nina Borie
Courtesy Photo

Bill and Nina lived in Santa Barbara until the early ’70s, when they moved to Palm Springs and then to Willits, California. After Bill’s death in 1982, she returned to Santa Barbara. She volunteered many hours for Old Spanish Days and for the Maritime Museum.

Nina will be remembered for her stories, sometimes embellished, but always entertaining, her friendly smile, and her love of dancing. She will be missed on the streets of Santa Barbara, where she was often seen walking on State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard and at the harbor and Stearns Wharf. Her love for the beach and the ocean and being with people never abated.

Her final years were spent living at the Buena Vista Care Center, where the attentive staff took tender care of her as dementia slowly diminished her life.

Her legacy will continue in the hearts and memories of her daughter Barbara Ahlman and son-in-law John Ahlman of Santa Barbara; daughter Marguerita Cobelens and son-in-law Fred Cobelens of Ventura; son Scott Borie of Santa Barbara; grandson Joel Cooke and his wife, Shel; two granddaughters, Meredith and Megan Borie; and two great-grandchildren, Kien and Caleb Cooke.

We see you dancing …


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