Cordelia Earle English

Date of Birth

September 9, 1920

Date of Death

May 14, 2016

Cordelia Kirkland Earle English (also known as Cordy, Dee, Corky, Dilly and the Caped Grammarian to her friends and fans) peacefully passed from this world onto the next on Saturday, May 14, 2016 surrounded by her three children at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. She was 95 years young.

Cordelia was born September 9, 1920 in Washington, DC, and grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where she pursued a degree in Spanish, French and Political Science from USC. She also received minor degrees and certificates from UCLA, Institut de Touraine in Tours, France, University of Mexico, and Mills College. She engaged in graduate studies at Claremont College and UC Riverside where she received her teaching credential. She received her Masters Degree in Spanish Literature at UCSB in June 1962.

During World War II, she served in the Office of Strategic Services(OSS) in both England and France, experiences that lasted her lifetime and left her with a keen sense of justice – or rather the need for justice.

After the war, she began teaching, a life’s calling which she continued even after officially retiring and beginning a second career as a massage therapist.

Cordelia had an irresistible thirst for knowledge, took a great interest in people, cultures, travel, music, reading and much more; the flame within her burned ever bright. Cordelia LOVED LIFE and her presence made a huge difference in the world. Her kindness, inspiration, beauty, knowledge, generous heart and loving presence will be missed by many.

Dee is preceded in death by her loving parents & her two husbands. She is survived by her three children Robert Earle Canini (Carpinteria, CA), Cheryn K English and her husband James J Richards (Santa Barbara, CA), Susan J English and her husband, Edward J Zych and two loving grand-daughters Alexandra M Zych and Rebecca J Zych (Lewisburg, PA).
Dee enjoyed every moment of life right up until the final moment.

Robert, Susan and Cheryn would like to thank all the people who touched Dee’s life and shared a cup of tea, a shot of Courvoisier a glass of chianti or their story … especially Willy Quinn and his wonderful family, Trini, Aoife, and Bridget, at Willy’s pub (La Arcada Bistro), and their beautiful Irish music and dance on a Friday night.

Welch-Ryce-Haider handled cremation and future memorial arrangements will be announced at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, kindly share a favorite story about Cordelia with her children via email at (and please let us know if you’d like to be invited to a future celebration of Dee’s life)


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