Anthony Wallace Rairden
May 2, 1944 – January 10, 2011
“You haven’t lived until you’ve been on the edge: low on fuel over the South China Sea, trying to locate a blacked-out carrier in a rainstorm, and you know no one’s coming after you if you don’t make it.” Tony Rairden, Naval Aviator 1968-1977.
Born in Seattle, Tony was the son of Martha Jean Shore Rairden and Percy Wallace Rairden Jr. Raised primarily in Santa Barbara, he attended Peabody and Adams elementary schools, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School, Class of ‘61. He graduated from UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
After spending most of his adult life in Nashville, Louisville and Atlanta working in the marketing and software fields, Tony moved back to his hometown of Santa Barbara six years ago.
Curious about everything, he would research a subject endlessly, filling limitless storage space in his brain. The work Tony was doing until recently at UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering attested to this, merging his curiosity about the sciences, his sociability and his talent for writing as their Communications Manager and Editor of Convergence Magazine.
A former board member with The Arts Fund, Tony appreciated and collected art: contemporary art, American folk art and Native American art. He had eclectic taste in music and respect for musicians, and was particularly enthusiastic about acoustic guitar and singer/songwriter concerts. He loved to golf, sail and ski, and was a former marathon runner.
Tony became passionate about our Santa Barbara County wine, and was exceptionally happy to have moved to Los Olivos where he could be in the heart of the wine region photographing vineyards, meeting winemakers, collecting and consuming.
He was a proud and loving father to his daughter Lindsey, and the marriage to his wife Lily this past November was a joyous and loving celebration.
Tony passed away the morning of January 10 after a 2-year battle with cancer and the debilitating complications of a stroke. Wrapped in the comfort of a Trinity Church Prayer Ministry shawl, he was blessed to have those he loved surrounding him; his family, friends and Cottage Hospital’s professional and loving staff of nurses and doctors on 6 Central and the Cottage Palliative Care team.
Tony is survived by his wife Lily Carey; daughter Lindsey; mother Martha Riel; sisters Kathy Rairden and Martha Lannan; and nieces and nephew, Hillary, Leslie and Michael Lannan. He is also survived by his Corgi pals Victor and Gibbs and his feathered friends, Sarah, Peachy and Will.
In honor of Tony, contributions may be made to the Adaptive Golf Program of Cottage Rehabilitation Institute or the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.