Chris Casebeer was a man who was big, bold, and full of love. Breaking social norms everywhere he went, Chris could not pass up the chance to strike up a conversation and connect with people. He cultivated friendships with people near and far. He never held back sharing a big hug, genuine smile, or an invitation to visit his home. Chris lived with a sense of sharing abundance and possibility that is rare in this world; and all of us who knew and loved him are so much the better for it.
Chris was born Sept. 16th, 1946 to parents Julie and Arthur Casebeer, in Altadena, California. His childhood, with older brother Paul, was marked by summers spent in Laguna Beach visiting his grandparents, where his lifelong love of the beach, bodysurfing, and above all volleyball, began. Chris attended Altadena Elementary School and Eliot Jr. High School before graduating from John Muir High School and starting his college career at UC Santa Barbara.
At UCSB, Chris was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity and played on the indoor Gaucho volleyball team, where he forged many enduring friendships. He was a member of the 1969 National Collegiate Champion Team. He shared his love of volleyball with his first wife, Vicki Johnson.
Chris was an avid fan and supporter of the Gauchos men’s and women’s Volleyball and Basketball teams. Chris served as President of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, and on the boards of the Special Olympics of Santa Barbara and the UCSB Athletic Director’s Advisory Committee.
Chris joined Pitts & Bachmann Realtors in 1973 and quickly found his niche. In 1980, Chris opened his own firm, Casebeer & Company, which he operated as a sole practitioner for the rest of his life. He served as President of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors in 1993, co-founded CASA magazine the same year. Throughout his 44 years in real estate, he amassed innumerable connections and friendships. His clients became his friends, and his friends became his clients.
Starting in 1982, Chris’ family life blossomed during his 15 year marriage to Hallie Anderson; raising his stepdaughter Celeste, and their daughter Charlotte and son Jeremy.
In 1999 Chris traveled to Cuba, where he met his wife and amor, Teriana Berriz. Married in 2004 in Santa Barbara, they have shared a rich life for the past 13 years, along with Teriana’s daughter, Maripaula.
Chris’ connection to civic duty was emblematic of his eclectic interests. He served on the Santa Barbara City College Adult Education Advisory Committee, co-founded Men Against Domestic Violence, served on the boards of Domestic Violence Solutions, Victoria Theater Community House, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Rental Housing Mediation, and was a Commissioner for the Santa Barbara Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
Chris effortlessly initiated friendships and then tended those relationships over time, much like the many gardens that he created and cared for over his life. He was encouraging and supportive of everyone he knew.
After his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in early 2015, Chris’ strength and indomitable spirit helped him to seek out the best treatment possible, and he enjoyed 2 1/2 more years of travel and avid support of his son Jeremy’s professional beach volleyball career, and treasured time with family. On Sept. 2, 2017, Chris passed away sitting on his front porch, waiting to meet friends for coffee, overlooking his beloved tropical garden in Santa Barbara.
Chris leaves behind his wife, Teriana Berriz Casebeer; two children, Charlotte Bodnar and Jeremy Casebeer; stepdaughters, Celeste Hoffpauir and Maripaula Valdes-Berriz; grandchildren, Millie and Delilah Bodnar, Joaquim Casebeer-Salgado, and Aurora Rehor; and a vast community of friends, all of whom Chris considered family.
Chris’s community of friends and family are invited to a memorial celebration of his life at Godric Grove in Elings Park on October 8, 2017 beginning at 2:00 PM. His memorial website can be visited at https://www.forevermissed.com/chriscasebeer/.