Jeremy Dennis Hass

Date of Birth

March 24, 1936

Date of Death

June 30, 2014

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Jeremy Dennis Hass passed away unexpectedly on June 30, 2014, at his home in Santa Barbara. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 24, 1936, Jeremy was the eldest son of John Kelleher Hass and Margaret Gray Hass. As a Mayflower descendant, he was proud of his Irish, Scottish, and Schleswig-Holstein forbears. Jeremy spent his early years in St. Paul, Minnesota, before his family moved west. His father was an attorney and intelligence officer at the Marine Corps air base in Goleta during World War II. The family made Santa Barbara a permanent home after the war. John Hass was the founding partner in the law firm, Weldon and Hass. Margaret, Jeremy’s mother, was employed as a court reporter.

Jeremy attended Goleta Union School, Dolores and San Roque parochial schools, and graduated from Santa Barbara Catholic High School in 1954. He then attended Pomona College where he majored in economics-engineering, with a minor in history, before going on to Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, and Loyola University in Los Angeles. He was admitted to the California State Bar and joined the family law firm. Jeremy retired from the firm in 2001.

On April 24, 1976, Jeremy married Ada Pinga at Mission Santa Barbara after being introduced by a mutual friend. A year and half later they gave birth to their beloved daughter Melinda. They remained a devoted couple and celebrated their 38th anniversary this year.

In the mid 1960s, while working for Jules Brasseur at Santa Barbara Title Company, Jeremy became interested in the Presidio project, a historic site in downtown Santa Barbara. He plotted the boundaries of the old fortress by studying historic property documents. By 1967 he was an active member of the Presidio Volunteers, a group who conducted archaeological excavations and public events at the site.

In early 1971, Jeremy wrote a proposal for the future Presidio project at the request of Miss Pearl Chase and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP). For the next several decades Jeremy played a major part in property acquisitions for what became El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. He was instrumental in the gift of El Paseo and Casa de la Guerra to the SBTHP. In the 1990s he helped arrange the purchase of the Santa Ines Mission Mills lands by the SBTHP, and he later became a member of the Trust’s Mills Committee.

Always a student of history and cultures, Jeremy presented papers at a number of conferences. His intensive research on the subjects of waterworks, fulling mills, and of California pioneer Joseph Chapman contributed not only to his own publications, but to the academic field; providing source material for scholarly research on the subject by others.

Prior to and during his retirement, Jeremy Hass loved collecting and restoring antique cars. He was a past president of the Antique Automobile Club of America and a member of the Horseless Carriage Club. Over the last several years, Jeremy made a weekly appearance on “History Friday” for Baron Ron Herron’s radio show.

Jeremy’s involvement with organizations included sitting on the boards of the California Chapter of the American Irish Historical Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, California Mission Studies Association, and the Scholarship Foundation of the Filipino Community Association. He was a member of the State Bar of California and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. Jeremy joined the Santa Barbara Corral of the Westerners International in 1976 and served as sheriff (president) in 1986-87. Following in the footsteps of his father, Jeremy provided legal advice to the local Filipino Community Association. Jeremy served on the Santa Barbara Sister Cities Board and was active in the San Juan Metro Manila/Santa Barbara Sister City Association. Three years ago he organized and formed the non-profit, Early California Agriculture and Technology Society (ECATS).

Jeremy was a Life Honorary Director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. He received the 2000 SBTHP Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award. In 2004, he was presented the Bayanihan Spirit Award by the Filipino-American Community Association of Goleta and Santa Barbara. In 2013 he was given the President’s Award of the California Mission Studies Association.

Jeremy is survived by his loving wife Ada, his adored daughter Melinda “M’Lynn” Judith Hass, his brother Mike Hass, nephew Todd and two grand nephews, Kurt and Ryan, as well as scores of admiring and bereaved friends.

A tribute and vigil will be held on Thursday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Presidio Chapel of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, 123 E. Canon Perdido Street. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 11th from 6.p.m. to 8.p.m. at Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel, 15 E. Sola St. A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 21 East Sola Street. Arrangements by Welch-Ryce-Haider.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation with notation “restricted to support of Santa Ines Mission Mills,” 123 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara, California 93101.

To leave online condolences and memories, please visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.