Donna Lee Ruiz

Date of Birth

April 17, 1935

Date of Death

March 12, 2018

Donna Lee Ruiz (Smith) of Santa Barbara, CA. passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Monday March 12, 2018, in San Diego, CA. Donna was born April 17, 1935 in Santa Barbara, CA to Leland and Anne Smith. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1953, and was proud to be a “Don”. In high school, Donna met and eventually married the love of her life Richard D. Ruiz.

She worked as an X-ray technician in high school, and later proudly volunteered as a “pink lady” at Goleta Valley Hospital for several years. Donna also worked at Hollister Elementary School as a Teachers Aid, then started a successful holiday craft business (Charupado) that she retired from in 1994. This allowed her to spend more time with her husband, grandchildren and friends with whom they traveled extensively and enjoyed all that retirement had to offer. Because Donna could never fully “retire”, her other passion was volunteering her time working with the staff at Unity Shoppe. Donna was incredibly proud of being a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara, and supporting her community in this way brought her a great deal of pride and pleasure.

After the passing of her beloved husband last year, Donna moved to San Diego to live closer to her family and enjoy more time with them. She also made many new friends and flourished for the brief time she was there.
Donna is survived by her daughter Karen (Michael), her son Craig (Lynda), grandchildren Lauren, Brian (Monica), Nicolas, Melina and Penelope, her sister Carolyn (Clyde,) and her many nieces and nephews. Donna was loved deeply by her family and friends and will be missed very much!

Mass services for Donna will be held on Saturday April 28th, 2018 at 10:00am at San Roque Church, 325 Argonne Circle, Santa Barbara, CA. A Celebration of Life will follow later in the afternoon at Chase Palm Park starting 1:30pm, 236 E. Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to UNITY SHOPPE – 110 West Sola St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 to support them in their continued efforts in serving the residents of Santa Barbara.


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