Allan Ghitterman passed away peacefully at home in his bed, in the middle of a warm, sunny Monday morning in Santa Barbara.
He will be missed by his adored wife, Susan Rose, his beloved children Jody Holmes (Ken), Russell Ghitterman (Julie), Sharon Marks (David), Julie Weiner and Carrie Pillar (Russell); grandchildren Erin (A.J.), Kaylen, Jeffrey (Samantha), Shauna, Benjamin, Cole, Avi and Levi; and great-grandchildren Declan, Parker and Connelly. His loyal dog Toto was by his side until the end.
He will also be missed by his many friends. He sought and nurtured deep and generous friendships throughout his life. He was a member of the Santa Barbara Lodge of the B’nai B’rith, an avid participant in weekly poker evenings, and the leader of a weekly political discussion group that he irreverently named TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
Born into modest circumstances in Winnipeg, Canada, Allan was close to his brother Reeven and his sister Corinne, both of whom predeceased him. All three moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1940s – in Allan’s case, after completing his wartime service in the Royal Canadian Air Force. While working full time as a taxi driver, Allan put himself through college and law school at UCLA. He had a highly successful career as a worker’s compensation attorney in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. He was renowned for his integrity, his compassion for injured workers and his fierce tenacity on their behalf.
Allan was a man of passionate loyalties and beliefs. He was proud of his Jewish heritage and was a staunch supporter of Jewish causes. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he loved his adopted country and was always optimistic that, despite its flaws, America is destined to follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s prophecy that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
For the past sixty years, Allan has been well known in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties as a generous supporter of charities and non-profits. He served actively on the local boards of the Legal Aid Foundation, New Beginnings Counseling Center, Foodbank, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
A Celebration of Life will take place at Congregation B’nai B’rith of Santa Barbara on Sunday, February 18 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Allan’s memory to the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara.