Stephen E. McDonough

Date of Birth

January 22, 1981

Date of Death

February 25, 2019

Stephen McDonough, 38, died peacefully at his home on February 25, 2019.

He was born on January 22, 1981 in Vista, California. His family moved to San Juan Capistrano when Stephen was 3, and to Santa Barbara when he was 15.

From the very beginning, his joy in life was infectious, it seems that he was always smiling. He had a great laugh and was always ready to see the humor in a situation. Stephen was a gifted athlete. He attended Cate and Laguna Blanca High Schools where he played water polo and lacrosse. He received a BA in Religious Studies from Colorado College and an MA in Business from Georgetown University.

Stephen returned to Santa Barbara in 2011 and opened the Coffee Collaborative in Isla Vista. For 8 years the coffee shop was a fixture of life in the Isla Vista community. It was a place where people could always go to express their creativity – visual artists put up their work, musicians played at open mike nites and poets read their latest compositions. It was vibrant and colorful – a place for debates, late-night talks, laughter, chess and community. Stephen derived great satisfaction from supporting the creative voices of people who were just finding those voices. And he too, loved making art, playing music, philosophizing, writing poetry and finding humor in life.

He is survived by his parents, Jadzia and Emmett McDonough; his brothers David and John; his sisters-in-law Catherine and Iga; his nephew Malcolm and his nieces Cassie, Margo and Maja. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 26th at Santa Barbara Cemetery Chapel at 11 a.m. To be followed by a reception at Stella Mare restaurant.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity.


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