Barbara Ann Ostrowsky
Barbara Ann Ostrowsky, 75, died peacefully in her sleep at home on April 20, 2015, after a valiant 7-year battle with Congestive Heart Failure. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 43 years, Howard, and her daughters, Susan (Mark), Wendy (John), and Abbi (Dorin), and her son Nathan (Melanie), as well as her four grandchildren (Dominique, Michael, Erin, and Wesley).
Born February 16, 1940 in New York to Fred Welsh and Elizabeth R. Ehnes, her father entered the U.S. Air Corps shortly thereafter, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel before the end of the war. Shortly thereafter, she moved with her father to live in California.
After getting a nursing degree from Rio Hondo College, she moved to Goleta in 1968, to begin a love affair with that Community which lasted all her remaining years. With a degree as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, she worked at Cottage Hospital, Goleta Valley Community Hospital, and various other institutions around the community. Outraged by seeing the suffering inflicted by Drunk Drivers on many of her patients, she formed and headed the local Santa Barbara chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). She devoted many of her waking hours to accompanying the victims to Court, guiding them through the legal procedures, and trying to obtain for them some measure of justice.
For many years thereafter she was a gadfly on the Goleta body politic. She helped in the struggle to incorporate the City of Goleta. She attended countless meetings of all kinds, with an especial love for the Goleta Water Board, where her voice could always be heard speaking out on many issues. Having grown up in Northern California, she was well aware that when there was a water shortage in the South, the North would have no water to give. She tried to make the people see that the State Water project was an exercise in futility, but the citizens voted for it. Only during the last half dozen years has the prescience of her viewpoint been recognized.
Above all, she loved to talk with people in all walks of life. On so many occasions one could have seen her get into a conversation with someone in line near her at a grocery store, and after a couple of hours the other person would exclaim “Why have I been telling you all this?” But the reason was obvious: she was a superb listener!