November 29, 1915 – February 2, 2010
Martin Koobation died peacefully on February 2nd, 2010, at his home in Santa Barbara, surrounded by his family. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on November 29, 1915, moved with his parents to Visalia, California, and enlisted in the U. S. Air Force during World War II. While stationed in Ohio, he met his wife Julia, and at the conclusion of the War, they returned to California where he completed his education.
In 1955 he accepted a position at Carpinteria High School as an Agriculture teacher where, through his love for plants, his FFA students won many awards and beautified the City of Carpinteria with landscaping and tree plantings. In 1968 Martin was named Principal of the new Foothill Road Campus and as the “chief” supporter of the Carpinteria Warriors his blood ran true red. The student body dedicated their yearbook to him four times, and the school earned five full-term accreditations during his 16-year leadership.
After his retirement in 1981, Martin dedicated more than 20 years to community service as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Breakwater Flag Board Director, City Tree Advisory Committee member, Los Positas Park Foundation Board member, and held positions on numerous other committees and boards.
As a 47-year member of the Montecito Rotary Club, Martin served as a board member, secretary, vice president, and president. Martin was named a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and Rotarian of the Year in 1991. Between 1993 and 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award six times. At the 2003 Annual Step-Down ceremony, Martin was presented the First Distinguished Service Award with an inscribed crystal trophy for his 40 years of perfect attendance and outstanding service.
For over 40 years, Martin and Julia Koobation have been the pillars of the Armenian Association in Santa Barbara. Organizing annual picnics, dinners, and other social gatherings was an important part of their lives. In 1988 Martin chaired a committee that helped to raise over $30,000 for earthquake relief in Armenia. He served as chairman of a fund raising campaign in 1989 to build a drinking fountain in the De La Guerra Plaza during Santa Barbara’s Bicentennial Anniversary. He was treasurer of the Association for over 20 years.
Martin married Julia Garapedian in 1944 and for 65 years they combined their careers and social lives to build a beautiful home and raise a family of four successful children. As a husband and father, Martin will be remembered as the example to which his children and grandchildren aspire to make our communities and our world a better place for future generations.
Martin Koobation is survived by his four children: Stephanie (John) Bullock, Richard Koobation, Beverly (Wayne) Johnson, Steven (Karin) Koobation, grandchildren Aram (Kristie) Bullock, Justin (Laura) Bullock, Jill (Shaun) Schumacher, Naia Koobation, Evy (Robin) Power, and Dustin Koobation and great-grandchildren, Kasen and Maisie Kay Bullock.
A private memorial will be held at the Koobation residence. Remembrances may be given to the Montecito Rotary Club Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 5282, Santa Barbara, CA, 93150 or a charity of choice.