Edith Lehnert Hovey
Edith Lehnert Hovey December 29, 1913 June 5, 2009
Edith lived a very full and interesting life until the age of 95. She simply had a great time living. She never said “no”, always “yes” to it all. She was a lover of splendid music of all venues, especially classical, a savior and nurturer of all animals and birds that needed help, somehow ending up on her doorstep. She will be forever missed, often thought of and never forgotten.
She was born in Switzerland, moved to New York at the age of 35 to be the nanny for her best friend’s children, and then moved to Los Angeles where she met her husband, Lester. They moved to Santa Barbara in 1957. They were happily married for 41 years. After he passed away 14 years ago at the age of 90, she continued to live the life of Edith, residing in Goleta with her many winged, canine and feline friends.
She was the House Manager at the Arlington Theater for 45 years and was honored by CAMA and the Santa Barbara Symphony upon her retirement at age 90. The Santa Barbara Symphony played Happy Birthday to her on her last night of work at the Arlington for the annual New Years Eve Concert. Many of her ushers became good and lasting friends. She was one of the original founders of the Wildlife Care Network and became known as the “Bird Lady of Santa Barbara” caring for baby and injured birds. It was not unusual for her to carry a basket of baby hummingbirds to the theater or a dinner party where they would need to be fed every 15 minutes. She was a volunteer at Direct Relief International since 1990 as a bandage roller. She had a great time as a liaison to the crew members of the Swiss rowing team during the Olympic Games at UCSB in 1984. They visited her in later years with their families in tow.
Edith is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Marian and Blake Fuentes, by her dog, Sasha, and by her canary, Rosie Bell. Her niece and nephew in Switzerland, Robi and Marianne, as well as their families and children. Also, her adopted surrogate children and many, many friends. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, June 27th at 10:30am in the Arlington Theater Courtyard. Edith’s family would like to give a special thank you to Buena Vista Care Center, where she spent the last two years after suffering a stroke. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Wildlife Care Network and Direct Relief International.