Grace Wilkin, 82, died of pancreatic cancer at her home with her two daughters present, on May 15, 2009.
Grace married her husband Ben in 1948. She taught school in Lake Arrowhead in her 20s, stopped to raise a family and then studied medical records administration at Loma Linda University. She worked at Loma Linda Hospital in her 40s. After moving to the Santa Barbara area in the 1980s, Grace worked at the Rehabilitation Institute at Santa Barbara until she retired in the early 1990s.
Grace was a weaver, seamstress, PTA volunteer, scout leader and tennis player as well as a courier for her busy children. She was an avid gardener, great cook and devoted caregiver to her husband of 55 years during his decade with Alzheimer’s disease. Grace was a beloved mother and a wonderful friend. She was kind, thoughtful, organized, uncluttered and down-to-earth.
Grace loved cats, qigong, reading, beach walking, diving pelicans, collecting beach glass, movies with her best friend, support group luncheons and her book group friends.
Grace is survived by her children, Chris Wilkin of Wickenburg, AZ, Barbara Nicholas (Marty) of Bend, OR and Peggy Beebe of Lompoc, and her grandchildren, nieces and a nephew. The family wishes to thank Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care and caregiver Pattie McDougall and her associates for the excellent care and support they provided during her five-month-long illness.
At Grace’s request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Grace Wilkin may be sent to Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara or the Alzheimer’s Association.