Bonnie Lou Gaines

Date of Birth

July 22, 1943

Date of Death

March 14, 2018

Bonnie Lou Gaines passed away peacefully at age 74 on March 14, 2018 at the beautiful Serenity House in Santa Barbara, CA. Bonnie was born on July 22, 1943 in Washington D.C. to Frank Gaines, Jr. and Margaret Jane (Crowe) Gaines.

After spending her first 7 years of life living in Michigan, her family moved to Southern California where she graduated from Pasadena High School. One of her proudest early life moments was marching in the Rose Parade as a baton twirler for Pasadena High School.

She went on to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Following graduation, she became a legal secretary in Santa Barbara. Active in the Legal Secretary Association, she was elected president at a young age. As her career progressed, she became a certified paralegal and spent many years in that profession.

Bonnie developed many community relationships through her involvement with the American Cancer Society and pursuing her passion for genealogy at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society. Bonnie spent decades of her life researching, gathering and sharing her family history. She called genealogy her labor of love and enjoyed teaching others how to research and write their own family history.

Another passion of Bonnie’s was cooking, and she was proud of her collection of over 300 cookbooks, which she used regularly. Additionally, she was very witty and truly loved making others laugh with a good (sometimes dirty) joke. She had a huge heart, was passionate about helping others, and was always happy to offer aid whenever asked.

Bonnie is survived by her daughter Julie (Chris) Banta of Louisville, CO, son William (Caroline) Poucher of London, England; brothers Joe (Kathy) Gaskill Jr. of Springfield, MO, Jerry (Lorraine) Gaines of San Pedro, CA, and Steve (Kathy) Gaines of Kennewick, WA; grandchildren Sophia Narod, Gina Narod, Emmeline Banta, and Samuel Poucher, as well as 3 nieces and 3 nephews.

Memorial donations in memory of Bonnie Lou Gaines may be made to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, 509 E Montecito Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or online at We thank all the staff at Serenity House for their excellent support and care.

Graveside services were held at Santa Barbara Cemetery on Monday, March 26, 2018.


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