Francis (Frank) Joseph Renda

Date of Death

May 15, 2019

City of Death

Goleta, CA

Dr. Frank Renda passed away in Goleta, California, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, of complications from Atypical Parkinsonism. He was the youngest of six children born to immigrant Sicilian parents in Brooklyn, NY. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Brooklyn College and a Masters and Doctorate in Physics from Syracuse University. In 1969, he was recruited from the Syracuse Physics graduate program to join Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC). He and his young family moved to Goleta, CA, where he worked for over thirty years on the development of infrared focal-plane array systems.

In addition to his career, Frank enjoyed running (logging more than forty miles a week and completing 35+ marathons), serving as a physics and math tutor at Santa Barbara City College, and volunteering as a member of the Goleta Valley Housing Committee (GVHC) for three decades. He and fellow GVHC Board members facilitated the completion of Villa la Esperanza in 1971, providing 75 units of affordable housing in Goleta. As one of the longtime stewards for the development of Villa Esperanza, Frank helped ensure its preservation, continuity, and expansion. In December 2018, the Villa Esperanza Community Room was rededicated as the Frank Renda Community Room to honor his service. He is survived by his wife, Sonja Renda, daughter Melissa Renda and spouse Michael Payne, son Ben Renda and spouse Bridget Renda, and grandchildren Ella Payne, Quinn Renda, and Ryan Renda. He was a committed father and grandfather, beloved colleague and mentor, and an active contributor to the community. He is dearly missed.

A Memorial Service will be held for Frank on Friday, June 7th, at 11:00 am at Christ Lutheran Church, 6595 Covington Way, Goleta, CA. Memorial gifts may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 or the Parkinson’s Foundation at, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.


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