Joan Constance Bohm Bebb

Date of Birth

September 28, 1926

Date of Death

August 6, 2009

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Joan passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Santa Barbara surrounded by family on August 6, 2009, just before her eighty-third birthday. Born in Burlingame, California in 1926, Joan was the daughter of an engineer and granddaughter of a physician. She grew up in the Bay Area and at age nineteen married Kenneth Bebb in 1945. A Navy wife, Joan traveled the world with Ken, living in California as well as Hawaii, Washington, DC, Florida, Rhode Island, Texas, and Naples, Italy. A Naval aviator achieving the rank of commander, Ken served two tours in Vietnam while Joan lived in Hawaii. During that time, she developed property on the North Shore of Oahu into a thriving beach vacation rental business. Ken and Joan also owned and operated the Dar Lani Hotel in Waikiki. They resided in Hawaii but spent much of their time in Santa Barbara.

An accomplished pianist and artist, Joan loved to entertain and filled their homes with guests from around the world. An avid traveler, over the last few years Joan toured Greece, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the Bahamas, Eastern Europe, and South America. She possessed a great intellect and exercised it with a variety of challenges. One of her grandsons Ryan Emmons, writing a college entrance essay, remarked, “My grandmother could do the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink and rarely lost a game of Scrabble.” Joan’s marathon card games were dominated by her competitive spirit and joyful humor.

During Ken’s tour in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1949, Joan was stricken with polio but never lost her strong determination or her love of life. In 1995, Joan and Ken celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Coral Casino and Casa Cima Linda in Santa Barbara.

Joan always loved well and was well-loved in return. She is survived by her son Simon Bebb, daughter Laurel Preston (Alvin), daughter Christine Emmons (Robert), four grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, brother Philip Bohm (Margarita), and numerous nephews, nieces, and step-grandchildren.

A memorial service celebrating Joan’s life will be held at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Joan’s honor to the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, or the Smile Train.


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