Lynne Dana Merenbach, Petersen
Lynne passed away peacefully the morning of October 18, 2014. She was born in Hoosick falls, New York on November 7, 1945 to Thomas and Jocelyn Petersen. She was the eldest of six children and at an early age, stepped in to help her parents and beloved grandmother Esther raise her two younger brothers and the triplets, two girls and a boy who blessed the family in 1957. This early responsibility surrounded by her loving family defined Lynne’s warmth, generosity and lifelong love of family celebrations.
In 1958, the family moved to Goleta and Lynne graduated from San Marcos High School in 1964. Following high school, Lynne joined UCSB to pursue an administrative position in the office of the Chancellor. The role of Administrative Assistant proved to fall short of her desire to travel and see the world so in 1966 her father drove her to an interview for a job as a flight attendant for TWA. Of the many applicants, Lynne was the only candidate from Santa Barbara who was offered a job.
After completing her training in Kansas City, Missouri she was stationed in San Francisco where she launched a glamorous and exciting 37 year career of flying to some of the most exotic places on earth. Lynne loved her job, and traveled all over the world, visiting every important sight in every major city of the world. As a Flight Attendant, she would go on to log so many miles flying across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that she could have traveled to the moon and back ten times.
On one of her visits home in 1974, Lynne met the love of her life, Dennis Merenbach. They married November 26, 1977 in Santa Barbara where they lived a happy and exciting life together filled with travel, adventure and a love of life.
Lynne developed a passion for sports and shared Dennis’ commitment and passion for his alma mater, USC. Together, they embraced the USC motto “Fight On”, attended many Rose Bowl games together and lived the USC motto to the fullest during the challenges that life inevitably presents. She also loved the NFL’s San Francisco 49’ers and went to two of their most exciting Super Bowl games.
Not content with field sports alone, she also developed a love for sports cars and Formula One racing, having travelled to see races in many exotic cities of the world, including twice to the ne plus ultra of Formula One, Monte Carlo. When not enjoying the excitement of watching Formula One with Dennis they were often found touring in their Corvette and spending time with their good friends in the Santa Barbara Corvette Club.
But Lynne’s greatest passion was for her family. She dearly loved her husband, his children, her parents and her three brothers and two sisters. She loved to have her family close and host celebrations of life’s big events. Being the most gracious hostess and gourmet cook, Lynne loved to entertain and decorate her home during the holidays. One of Lynne’s happiest times of the year was when her family and all their children gathered to celebrate Christmas together. Her Christmas trees decorated in all their splendor with beautiful ornaments from around the world always delighted the children and made their anticipation of opening presents that much sweeter. Lynne was most loved, had the biggest, most generous heart, and always wore a smile that was full of Life.
Lynne passed away on October 18, 2014, one month before her 69th birthday and her 37th wedding anniversary.
“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky but rather openings in the heavens through which our loved ones pour out their love and let us know they are happy.”
Lynne is survived by her husband, and her two stepchildren, Michael William Merenbach (Vickie), Ogden Susan Merenbach, and her brothers Leif Petersen (Dana), Lloyd Petersen (Helen), Thomas Petersen (Jennifer) and her sisters Tina Perkins (Rick) and Thea Townsend and her many nephews and nieces, Brett Townsend, Britta Petersen, Cole Petersen, Addison, Andrew and Samantha Hunter, Louisa Petersen Breakey (Matson), and Kirstie Petersen Miller (Robert).
In celebration of Lynne’s life there will be private memorial and her ashes will join her father and mother off the coast of their home in Santa Barbara.
In lieu of flowers, the family humbly requests a memorial donation be made to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.