On January 28, 2019, two months short of her 104th birthday, the remarkable life of Estelle Meadoff came to a peaceful end surrounded by the love and support of her surviving daughter, Jan Baross, her daughter-in-law, Marlene Berro, and extended family and friends.
Born on March 15, 1915, as the only child of Abraham Kaplan and Bertha Seiferth Kaplan, Estelle’s childhood was a busy time, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
She was a dynamic and charismatic young woman who relished learning and had a thirst for adventure. Having excelled at her studies, Estelle entered LA City College at age 16. At UCLA she earned an advanced degree in Social Work. While attending UCLA she met Nathan (Nate) Meadoff (originally Medvedyev). He was a handsome dark haired immigrant from Gomel, Belarus who was attending medical school. Estelle and Nate fell in love and married in 1941. They moved to the rural town of Bakersfield, CA. where Nate had a successful orthopedic practice. They always dreamt of moving to the Bay area, but remained in Bakersfield for 25 years. They had two children, Wendy Jan who became an artist and writer, and Thomas Miles (1945-2014) who became an ER doctor.
It was 1967 when Estelle was about to get her dream life. The relative isolation of central California did little to quell her thirst for adventure and travel. Nate would retire that year and they would travel the world, eventually moving to San Francisco where he would teach at the Medical School at the University of California, San Francisco. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack and passed away. His kindness and skill was sorely missed by all those lives he touched.
Despite the untimely death of her husband, Estelle followed her own internal compass, traveling throughout Europe and settling in London as a base for her ongoing travels. She lived at the Mayfair hotel in London for the next 30 years. She was an excellent bridge player and made friends easily. She took art classes in London and went on painting holidays on the continent. She traveled the entire world with daughter Jan as her eager companion.
At the age of 83, inspired by the beauty and weather, she moved to Santa Barbara and took residence at the Encina Lodge, where she planned to live for the rest of her life. Over the past 20 years, she enjoyed spending time with the bridge, arts, and museum communities. Estelle was fortunate to have a close group of family and friends including her cherished Santa Barbara friends, wonderful cousins who visited often, and her beloved Encina Lodge family.
She had a rapid, analytical and intuitive mind. During her life she continued to play bridge, a game she continued to play until the last year of her life. She was a passionate painter, largely self-taught, and driven by her own desire to capture color and form of people, animals and nature as an expression of emotion and passion. Her sharp wit, sense of humor and desire to be free from social norms inspired those around her and lives on in her daughter, Jan. She continued her art and in 2016 had her first show at age 100, in Portland, Oregon.
Throughout her life, Estelle was in control of her life’s path, and always dictated the terms by which she wished to live as well as her final journey. She will be remembered as a person who truly lived the life for which she aspired and enjoyed its richness to the very end of her days.
To see Estelle’s art work please visit Website: estelleartist.com
To learn more about Estelle’s life see You Tube under Jan Baross: “That Five Star Feeling” and “Happy Feet.” At Estelle’s request, no services are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.