Michael James Lawler

Date of Birth

October 4, 1945

Date of Death

January 7, 2016

Michael Lawler, age 70, of Santa Barbara died peacefully at Serenity House Thursday evening January 7, 2016. He was surrounded by friends and family and is now in the loving arms of the Father. Mike was born in Callicoon, New York and traveled and lived in many places, including Hawaii and Japan, before the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1961. He attended and graduated from San Marcos High School, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and UCSB, earning Masters Degrees in Architecture and Geography.

Mike is survived by his son Sean; his sister Nan Lawler and her husband Richard Covey; his sister Terry Early and her husband Jay; his wife Ann, two stepsons, Mark Terry, his wife Karla, and their sons Nathaniel and Benjamin, and Alan Terry, his wife Karen Reef, and his children, Daniel and Michelle Terry, and seven step nieces and nephews and their families.

Mike and his wife have been very involved in charities that benefit special needs both in this community and in San Rafael, where his son resides in a group home for autistic adults. They have also been very involved in numerous other non-profit organizations in the Santa Barbara area.

Mike was a woodworker, and built furniture, many beautiful rowboats, a steam boat, many kayaks, and over 500 hand carved wooden models of boats. Mike will be remembered for his dry wit, compassion and generosity, love of nature and all things marine. He believed in having a humble spirit and did not want accolades to his achievements, which were many.

A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at Goleta Presbyterian Church on January 31st at 2:00. A paddle and rowing out to sea to scatter his ashes will be held the previous day at 1:00 for close friends and family. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Serenity House.


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