In Memoriam
Patricia Bragg

I first met Patricia Bragg in 2000 when I moved from Northern California to Santa Barbara with my then-fiancé, Tom. He had taken a job here as a counselor for youth, and I was happy to be able to move to Santa Barbara with him. A few months later, I applied for a job advertised in the Santa Barbara News-Press, I was just looking for something part time to do as I reestablished in a new town. The job description said, “part-time help wanted.” Period. I interviewed for it, got it, and started the next day, even though the “interview” provided absolutely no information about the job or what I would be doing for Patricia!

It turned out that Patricia hired me because her cat, Big Foot, liked me. And that was the beginning of 23 years of friendship.

If you ever had the privilege of meeting Patricia Bragg, you’d understand why she was truly unforgettable. Clad in vibrant, eye-catching, brightly colored clothing, she radiated a zest for life that was contagious. Clothing was never supposed to match, as long as every color was bright and happy. Her energy was palpable; she wanted to stop and talk to everyone, no matter where she was, always sharing a newsletter, a gift of a book from her library of health books, or products from her company, Bragg Live Foods, which she had run since the late 1970s. It was important to her to make a connection with everyone she came across in some way.

Patricia had a mission, to make sure that everyone she met would go away with something to encourage them toward a healthier lifestyle. With each sentence, she greeted the world with a resounding “Woo-hoo!” — a joyful exclamation that mirrored her vibrant outlook. She genuinely wanted people to be aware of their own bodies and health, and although she wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that never stopped her. 

One of her favorite sayings was “Be the captain of your own ship,” meaning to take responsibility for our lifestyle choices and our food choices. We had more testimonials come in to say how although initially offended by her candor, she had forced or encouraged people to take a look at their health and make changes that were often life-changing, and life-saving. 

She loved to tell women that they should never wear wire bras because the wires restricted circulation to the breasts, and she happily showed women that she was proud of never having worn a bra herself. She believed that dancing was the best exercise, inspiring happiness and well-being while getting the benefit of the movement. She was often seen dancing on the grass at Earth Day.

Whether she was speaking to a crowd or engaging in a one-on-one conversation, Patricia’s presence was magnetic. Her infectious positivity, combined with her deep- rooted faith, created a powerful combination that left a lasting impression on all fortunate enough to experience it. She touched literally millions of people over the decades with her teachings, through the books, her lectures, her radio shows, and her personal meetings. If she was on a cruise ship, she would invariably be invited to the captain’s table, where she would entertain with stories of her around-the-world trips and adventures.

She enjoyed living, and eventually retiring, on her 110-acre organic farm in Goleta, surrounded by orchards of apples and other fruit, and tropical landscaping surrounding the pond. She built a “Tiki Hut” that felt like you had just transitioned to Hawai‘i without leaving home. We had so many wonderful and memorable parties and gatherings there.

Patricia loved to help good causes in our community for the environment, people, and animals, supporting many local organizations with charitable donations. Among her favorites were the Unity Shoppe, to which she also donated organic fruit from her farm. You can see Unity’s white van with the sunny logo of Patricia’s foundation driving around town delivering food to people in need. The Patricia & Paul Bragg Foundation also contributed to the Foodbank’s new facility and the Community Environmental Council’s new building, while providing grants to many other local organizations too numerous to mention here. Her heartfelt work will now carry on through her Foundation.

Thank you, Patricia, for your never-ending dedication, your pioneering spirit, and your boundless love for humanity. For inspiring us to live our best lives, to celebrate the beauty of true health, and to embrace the incredible potential within each of us. May your light forever shine brightly in our hearts, and I am forever grateful for the privilege of knowing you.


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