Edgar Rickard “Rick” Mohun
Beloved husband, father, and friend passed away in June. Rick lived a long, full life enriched by his taste for adventure, curiosity, and love of learning. Born in New York City in 1934, he spent his earliest years in New England, attending Fessenden School and Taft School. At age fourteen, he began travelling back and forth to Reykjavik, Iceland, staying in a Quonset hut with his mother and her new husband during school holidays—the first of many adventures. A few years later he left school to join the Navy, his choice of service reflecting a life-long love of the ocean and sailing. That interest became the center of his life in his early twenties, when he moved to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to work around sailing boats. An encounter with an expatriate New Zealander, Bill Mangan led to Rick’s most fondly-remembered adventure. Together, the two men sailed a 21-foot, homemade sailboat named Taki-au-Tahi through the Panama Canal to New Zealand.
In the late 1950s, California became Rick’s home. He remained there for the rest of his life, although he continued to love travel. After a brief stint as a telephone lineman, he used his newly acquired college degrees from UCLA and UCSB to become a teacher. First at San Marcos High School and then at La Cuesta continuation school, he taught a wide range of subjects from English and History to Life Sciences and Math. He held a particular fondness for students he described as “survivors”—children from difficult family circumstances who found a way to make meaningful, productive lives for themselves. He also earned a series of pilot’s licenses in his spare time, eventually taking a leave from teaching to become the Chief Flight Instructor at Apollo Aviation in Goleta.
Throughout his adult life, Rick pursued a wide range of passions ranging from the outdoor to the spiritual. His interest in mountaineering led to membership in the Las Padres Search and Rescue team as well as climbs and hikes in the Sierra, Cascades, Himalayas, and mountains of Alaska. He twice rode a bicycle most of the length of the West Coast. In his fifties, he converted to Judaism, ending a long search for a spiritual home. Characteristically, he learned Hebrew so that he could read the texts of his new faith in the original. He will also be remembered for his fondness for books, sense of humor, and willingness to help others.
Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Susan Maxey Mohun, and two daughters from a previous marriage, Arwen and Rowena Mohun. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Visiting Nurses & Hospice, The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden or Santa Barbara Audubon.
A Life Celebration will take place at 1pm on Sunday, July 24th at Kiwanis Meadows (area 5) in Tucker’s Grove County Park. For further information on this celebration email RicksCelebrationofLife@gmail.com or call (805)729-6124.
A Memorial Service will also be held on Wednesday, July 27 at 5:30 pm at Congregation B’nai B’rith at 1000 San Antonio Road.