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William Joseph Lanphar

Date of Birth

February 22, 1953

Date of Death

March 11, 2019

City of Death

North Hollywood, CA

Bill was truly a multi-faceted jewel…father, grandfather, friend, partner, and master musician. Born in North Hollywood, CA to William and Mary Lanphar, he attended St. Genevieve High School; he later received a degree in music from L.A. Pierce College and subsequently directed the music department at St. Cyril’s Catholic Church in Encino, CA. After graduating from Cal State University at Northridge with a B.A. in Psychology, he worked as a Behavior Analyst counseling and assisting children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism, first in the Los Angeles area and later in Santa Barbara.

There are many things that stand out in Bill’s life, but nothing so much as his love of music. Starting in his teen years, Bill played with numerous bands and music groups, and continued playing throughout his life. He played several instruments, including piano, bass, and drums, but his first love was the guitar…especially his Taylor Dreadnought Cutaway 610-CE, which became his signature instrument. After relocating to Santa Barbara, Bill became a regular at Dargan’s open mic where he forged many long-lasting musical alliances. Over the years his musical presence in Santa Barbara expanded to include SOhO, Cold Spring Tavern, Cambridge Drive Concert Series, MichaelKate Interiors, and Palm Loft Gallery, among other venues. He participated in many singer-songwriter groups, open mics, and house concerts, always playing to a loyal and ever-expanding fan base. Bill’s dedication to his art was evident in the precise, yet inspired way he coaxed melodies from his guitar, and his voice was by turns entreating and demanding…but somehow always angelic. Bill was best known for the gentleness he brought to his art, and he would play with anyone, from seasoned performer to nervous novice, and his participation was always in demand. He made suggestions but was never critical. He felt that he was there to uplift, not tear down, and he appreciated musicians of all levels and ability. He loved teaching guitar and he loved his students. During his last year he discovered new opportunities for expression; he enjoyed being a member of the Bushwick Book Club and felt honored to have his lyrics published in two editions of the newly-founded Santa Barbara Literary Journal.

The only thing that came close to his love of music was his love of children. He was interested in them as people, and treated them with dignity and respect, which they responded to in a positive way. He was thoughtful and kind to them, and really listened to what they had to say, because he believed that they held an innocent wisdom that we as adults had long forgotten. Many of his friends were parents who appreciated and benefited from his advice and guidance.

Bill is survived by his partner Christine and her granddaughter Adalynn; his mother, Mary; siblings Mark, Mary, John, and Tom; sons Elliot and Dustin and granddaughter Sophia. He is also survived by countless friends and fellow musicians who love him and will miss him forever.

Donations made to http://notesfornotes.org/ in Bill’s name are appreciated. You will have the opportunity to choose the location that your donation is directed to.

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