Arnita Matthews, aged 71, passed away August 26, 2013 at Sarah House after her struggle with cancer. She was born Arnita Walton, October 28, 1941 to Joe Cravens Walton and Fern Lee Armstrong in Poteau, Oklahoma. In 1957 she married Lonnie Adams and had her only child, Tracy Adams. It was 1966 when Arnita, now a single mother, moved to Lompoc CA, to be closer to family. After graduating beauty school she visited Santa Barbara, and fell in love with the city making it her home. She worked as a cosmetologist and later owned and operated her own beauty salon “Miss Arnita’s”.
Arnita re-married in 1980 to Frank Leslie “Skip” Matthews. Both Arnita and Skip served the Santa Barbara community working in drug and alcohol recovery. Skip, on the board of directors of New House and as one of the founders of NewHouse II and Arnita with The National Council on Alcoholism and as President of Friends of Casa Serena. Together they helped hundreds of men and women rebuild their lives.
Arnita is loved and remembered by her sister Nila Stone, her mother and step father Fern and Russ Erikson, her step son John Matthews and her son Tracy Hall Adams. She was kind and loving and when it came to matters of the spirit, she was very wise.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday Oct, 5th 2013, 2pm. The family asks any remembrances be given in Arnita’s name to Sarah House in Santa Barbara.