Santa Barbara lost a staunch supporter of the arts, the environmental community, education, and women’s issues with the death of Jean Kellogg Schuyler on April 17. The extent of her generosity may never be known, many said, it encompassed so many people and organizations. And Schuyler’s choice to participate meant a project would succeed.
As an advocate for women, Schuyler was honored for her work with Planned Parenthood and Domestic Violence Solutions. With her husband Barry Schuyler, a UCSB Environmental Studies professor who died in 2011, Schuyler advocated for and supported the establishment of the Douglas Family Preserve, Ellwood Mesa, and the Sedgwick Reserve, among numerous other natural or wild places. She helped Fairview Gardens become the Center for Urban Agriculture and the Maritime Museum settle into Santa Barbara. Theater groups like the Granada and Ensemble all knew her generosity.
Schuyler grew up in Altadena and La Jolla, and graduated from Stanford University in 1949 with a teaching credential. An accomplished rider, who trained her first horse at age 8, many of Schuyler’s post-graduation years were spent on horseback as a camp counselor and at Midland School in the Santa Ynez Valley. She rode with the Sage Hens for 50 years. Despite a partially paralyzing stroke in 2009, Schuyler remained active though wheelchair-bound, attending two to three events and meetings daily. At an event in February for Wildling Museum, Schuyler, whose grandparents were good friends with John Muir and whose uncle would hike with Ansel Adams in the Sierras, was awarded the Wilderness Spirit Award, just one of the many accolades she received during her lifetime of giving back.