Margaret “Peggy” Lane

Date of Birth

October 24, 1926

Date of Death

February 4, 2013

City of Death

Santa Barbara

10/24/26 – 2/4/13

Born to Don and Mildred Bryant Brooks in Long Beach, California, Peggy Lane grew up with her younger sister, Donna Killough, in South Pasadena, California. Moving to Santa Barbara to attend college in the 1940’s, she put herself through UCSB (then on the Riviera) working at Sees Candies, where she developed a life-long love of chocolate.

In 1950, after graduating with a Liberal Arts Degree, Peggy met and married fellow classmate Frank D. Robinson. After a year on Frank’s sailboat (the 23’ Taro) they moved with their son to East Mountain Drive, where they built an adobe home and gave birth to 4 more children. She spent the 50s and 60s raising her children and rebuilding their home, after it was destroyed in the Coyote fire of 1964. She was an active Girl Scott leader and respected soprano soloist singing in local musicals, the All Saints by the Sea Choir and Collegium Musicum.

Separated from Frank in 1966, Peggy moved with her two youngest children to Banana Road and went to work at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions on Eucalyptus Hill in Montecito. In 1968 she married SBCC Professor of English, Mervin Lane and moved to his Mountain Drive home. Having a passion for plants, she returned to school in her late 40s and obtained a degree in Botany from UCSB, after which she was a teacher’s assistant for the Field Botany classes at SBCC, volunteered at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, the Natural History Museum and taught for many years through the Adult Education Program. To many, she is best known for her expertise on native and edible plants, trees and shrubs of Santa Barbara and plant identification. She loved going on field trips with her students and scouting trips with her grandchildren. Along with her love of the outdoors, she was an avid reader and always had a couple of books in tow.

Tragedy struck Peggy and Mervin in November 2008 when the Tea Fire swept through the neighborhood and burned their home to the ground. In July 2010 she moved to Vista Del Monte, where she resided with her husband until her death.

Peggy never lost her love of the Santa Barbara mountains, ocean, islands, reading, music, her family, friends and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She will always be remembered for her curiosity, beautiful voice and the best salads this side of heaven. She is survived by her husband, Mervin L. Lane, his children Katherine (Roger) Collis, Nathan Lane, her children Rob (Allison) Robinson, Maia (Stan) Kerwood, Tamar (Martyn) Cavett, Rima Robinson, Louis Robinson, her 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will take place on April 7th at 2PM. For details contact Maia at


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