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Philip James Ebenstein

Date of Birth

March 14, 1945

Phil Ebenstein, beloved son of William and Ruth Ebenstein, and beloved brother of Rob, Andy, and Lanny Ebenstein, died earlier this year after a brief but valiant struggle with cancer. 

Phil was born on March 14, 1945. A unique, kind, and loving individual, he did not receive enough oxygen at birth which resulted in developmental disability. His early years were difficult, but our parents put great care and love into him. 

He was raised through age 17 in Princeton, New Jersey. The family moved to Santa Barbara in 1962, when Dad received an invitation to teach at the newly emerging UCSB. Phil participated in programs at the Alpha Resource Center where Mom, Rob, and Lanny have served on the board of directors. Starting in 1987, Phil lived with Lanny. In 2001, he moved to Eureka where Rob lives. 

Phil led a busy life. He greatly enjoyed the day programs of the Alpha Resource Center in Santa Barbara and the Sequoia Center in Eureka. He took part in “travel trips” with New Directions of Santa Barbara and in activities of the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir and the First Baptist Church of Eureka. He enjoyed family, travel, car rides, writing, music, desserts, and relaxing in the sun. He had a good sense of humor. He visited Lanny and Maggie in Santa Barbara as recently as this past September.  

Phil’s last years in Eureka with Rob and Michelle were perhaps the happiest in his life. He was loved, and will be missed, by many. More than 75 people attended the recent Celebration of his life in Eureka. 

He had many idiosyncratic sayings. Among these was, “Person is the name of a Dorothy.” “Dorothy” means “gift of God,” and Phil certainly was a gift of God. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Alpha Resource Center or New Directions. 

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