Thomas LeRoy Utterback

Date of Birth

July 27, 1939

Date of Death

April 18, 2017

Thomas LeRoy Utterback, 77, died Tuesday, April 18, 2017, of aspiration pneumonia despite the valiant efforts of the emergency room doctors and nurses at Cottage Hospital. Tom bravely survived tonsil cancer, a stroke and a broken leg and always managed to bounce back except the last time to our great sorrow.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 27, 1939, to his parents Ross and Miriam (Shannon) Utterback, the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1955 from Indiana; he graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1957. He joined the Army Reserves and soon started his career in the painting profession eventually obtaining his contractor’s license.

Tom met his wife Terry (Spring) and they were married a year later on November 27, 1971 at the Old Mission Friar’s Chapel. He enjoyed vintage car races and owned a few in his life: a ’62 Corvette, a real ’66 Shelby Cobra and a real ’66 Shelby GT350, and a ’74 Trans Am. In 1967 he and his good friend George Chappell (a SB High grad who died in December 2016) drove the Cobra to Daytona in 3 days getting stopped by cops wondering what kind of a car it was.

He collected vintage car parts, antique clocks, tools and coins. He enjoyed fly fishing, car shows and the races at Laguna Seca and Willow Spring.

Tom is deeply missed by his wife Terry; daughter Jennifer Buur of Santa Barbara, CA; son Britt Utterback (Paola) of Parker, Colorado; and three grandchildren: Hunter Buur of Santa Barbara, CA; Matteo and Amelia Utterback of Parker, CO; also his sister-in-law Carolyn Geiberger (Al); niece Katie Geiberger-Teigen and nephew Allen Geiberger, Jr., all of Palm Desert, CA; and brother-in-law, Dan Spring of San Diego, CA, and many dear friends.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date. For information contact Terry at


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