David McLeod Brainard

Date of Birth

August 3, 1955

Date of Death

March 23, 2017

Surfer. Actor. Cyclist. Writer. Teacher. Ironman. Bartender. Realtor. Warrior.

Santa Barbara recently lost a mountain of a man who amassed quite a following across a broad spectrum. David presided over thousands of Board Meetings at Hammonds, Rincon, Mesa Lane and most other local spots. David also frequented the Islands. He performed over 70 plays at our Ensemble and Garvin Theaters, at off-off-Broadway and in Hilton Head. He landed roles in a host of TV shows like Chicago Hope, Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Hawaii Five O.

He had numerous indie film starring roles, as well as several at UCSB and City College. David was the fortunate recipient of two Indy Acting Awards. He was an avid cyclist who knew the Santa Barbara back country as well as most. In the early years, he picked up a couple “Stump Jump” trophies for winning mountain biking races. David published a semi-autobiographical book called “The Ides of August” and was a persistent contributor to the Independent, the Montecito Journal, and the News Press. David successfully taught at the El Puente School for alternative students. He would drive around town and the locals would yell “Yo, Mr. Brainard, what’s up.” He competed in THE Ironman and finished in the top 10% of the entrants. David was also a famous bartender at Arnoldi’s, Zelo and Blue Agave. He spent some time as a realtor and was a proud member of the Rental Housing Mediation Task Force

Key saviors in David’s cardiac struggles were Santa Barbara’s Dr. Bruce McFadden, UCLA’s Drs. Murray Kwon, Mario Deng, Arnold Baas, Gene DePasquale and Daniel Cruz. David passed away after three years of valiantly battling the cruel stroke suffered after receiving a heart transplant on his 58th birthday. He has joined his parents, Chris and John, in heaven. He is survived by a bunch of Brainards: his siblings Michael, Melanie and Alison; his sister-in-law JoAnn; his half brother John Martin; his niece and Goddaughter Christina, and his nephews Michael II and Gregory. We will celebrate David’s life with a paddle out at Leadbetter Beach on Sunday, April 30 at 11:00am.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to support the UCLA Medical Center’s Division of Cardiology. Kindly make checks payable to “The UCLA Foundation”, indicate “in memory of David Brainard” in the memo line, and send to UCLA Health Sciences, Attn: Brian Loew, 10945 Le Conte Avenue, Ste 3132, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Feel free to contact Brian Loew at (310) 794-7620 or bloew@support.ucla.edu with any questions. Or, local contributions can be made to Jodi House, Food from the Heart, and Center for Successful Aging.

Surf on, Dude.


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