Charles “Charlie” E. Bierer

Date of Birth

March 2, 1943

Date of Death

July 7, 2013

City of Death


March 2, 1943 – July 7, 2013

Charles “Charlie” E. Bierer, 70 of Goleta, died suddenly of a heart attack while watering his oak trees on the Jesusita Trail on 7.7.13.

Born in Delaware on 3.2.43 and raised in South Carolina with six siblings by his father. He started on adventures early, hitchhiking to California at 17 where he attended LACC (and met his future wife), UCLA, and later UCSB earning a BA in Cultural Anthropology.

Perhaps his most amazing adventure was hitching through Central and South America, crossing the Andes on foot, and canoeing down the Amazon, fed by locals along the way. Charlie’s connection to the natural world was evident at a young age and throughout his life, through not only bountiful vegetable gardens, religiously planted every year, and beautiful rare plant collections, but also his passion for planting native trees.

Over the past 40 years living in the IV/Goleta area, he single handedly planted thousands of native trees: Oaks, Sycamores, Ashes, Poplars, Walnuts and many more, often accompanied by his children. Sometimes planting whole groves, some with trees now standing 40 feet tall or more, scattered in open space throughout the area. Charles donated Oak trees to the Goleta Water Dept., Carpinteria Sanitation Dept. and the Ellwood Monarch Butterfly Reserve. These trees and his labor to nurture them, (in dry years carrying five-gallon buckets to water them) are his legacy for his children and the community.

Charlie’s knowledge had no boundaries, he wrote numerous books on linguistics, philosophy and spirituality, spending years on exhaustive research. He recently self-published a book on Lunar and Solar Months and their meanings in Latin, Gaelic and English. He had many occupations, notably: Teachers Aide in Special Ed classes for the GUSD, Director of the IV Youth Project, and Gardener with IV Parks and Rec. Life with him was never boring.

His family will miss him, his love of spirited debate, penchant for loud Rock ‘n Roll and his cooking. His grandchildren loved spending time with him, wearing his glasses, pouring over his bird books and eating from his fruit trees, blackberry vines, and garden. We only have to look at his trees, garden, and flowers to know that he is present.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents (Virginia and Dr. Bert W. Bierer) and niece Wendy. He is survived by: wife of 49 years Norah; sons Maken, Leif and Inti; grandchildren Livia and Freya, all of Santa Barbara; His siblings Ron, Bob, Pat, Jody, Walt and Ginny and many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather to celebrate Charlie’s life on August 17 at noon, at Tierra de Fortuna Park in Isla Vista. Potluck encouraged. We will visit some of Charlie’s trees. Funeral Arrangements by Pueblo Del Rey.


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