Mary Sweeney Zeldis

Mary Sweeney Zeldis, beloved wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend, passed away peacefully at home after a year living with cancer. Born a farmer’s daughter in North Dakota, she found her way to Santa Barbara in 1975 and here she made her gardens, friendships and art. She raised her son Antonio while working in jobs from waitress to ad sales at the News-Press. In 1982 she met her husband-to-be Bill at the Copper Coffee Pot. They were married years later at the Courthouse and toasted with coffee ever after. In 1985 she became an RN and worked at St. Francis, Cottage Hospital, Cate School, and the VNA. She studied Vedanta for years in Pennsylvania and India, and practiced her Spanish, yoga and world dance everywhere and always. After she retired from nursing in 2000, she wrote a local guidebook, taught ESL classes, and worked beside and traveled with her husband.

She belonged outdoors, and loved sharing time there with her friends on a morning walk or in weeks of camping. She had a piercing wit and a deep trust and respect for the profound. She loved her kitchen, her garden, her poetry and books, and especially, her skis. Generous, playful, deliberate, devoted, childlike and wise, she was truly loved. She is survived by her husband Bill, son Antonio, many brothers and sisters, step-son Andrew, grandchildren Lulu and Billy, and many wonderful friends.

A gathering in her honor will be held at her home at noon on January 9.


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