Laurie Pitney

Laurie Pitney, age 56, passed away on Monday July 29th, 2019 due to complications from end stage renal disease. Born in March, 1963 near Rapid City, SD; Laurie was the youngest of four children born to her Father William F Robinson, from Brooklyn NY and Mother, Helen Pappas-Robinson from Huron, SD.

In 1965 the family moved to Atwater, Ca where she received her education and, graduated from Atwater High School in 1981. Shortly afterwards she and her best friend Terri made a leap of faith decision to move to Santa Barbara, get jobs, and attend college.

In 1991 Laurie Robinson met Gary Pitney, the man who had been looking for his soulmate. Introduced by a good friend at O’Malley’s Sports Bar of all places, their relationship grew. In August of 1993 they were married in a beautiful outdoor winery setting in Santa Ynez. After honeymooning in Hawaii, Gary & Laurie returned to Santa Barbara and within 2 months bought a home in the San Roque neighborhood of Santa Barbara. Together they enjoyed the carefree life of a couple without children, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

In June of 1996 Ethan James Pitney came into their lives. That carefree life was replaced by the incredible joy of having a baby in their lives. Proud grandparents and extended family joined in the celebration. Just 16 months later, Julie Deene Pitney came into the world and the celebration continued. Laurie soon “retired” from her assistant manager position at a local credit union and focused her energy on being a full-time mother. Playdates and volunteering at the Oaks Preschool brought joy to Laurie.

Before becoming a wife and mother, Laurie’s first love was animals. She liked nothing more than to bring the preschool rabbits or guinea pigs home for the weekend to join the ever growing Pitney menagerie of dogs, hamsters, birds, lizards and fish. As the children grew, Laurie became involved in all aspects of their lives. She loved working with children and volunteered for years in the Sunday School program at the Santa Barbara First United Methodist Church. Laurie volunteered her time in the classrooms at Peabody Charter School and was an enthusiastic fan cheering for Ethan and Julie in their many sports activities, including roller hockey and soccer.

As the kids grew, Laurie returned to work. She managed a retail clothing store then decided to pursue her passion for animals, subsequently working for three different Santa Barbara veterinary clinics. She greeted every client and pet with a warm smile and a loving touch. Laurie had compassion for animals and humans alike, offering a warm embrace and shedding tears with many pet owners when the time came to say goodbye to their beloved pets.

The Pitney family enjoyed many adventures together during Laurie’s lifetime. Dozens of trips to their condo in Mammoth with good friends and family. Travels to Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, sailing adventures in the Bahamas, and most recently a trip to visit Julie during her study abroad program in Copenhagen.

Watching Ethan and Julie develop their faith in God and grow into energetic & compassionate young adults gave Laurie some of her greatest joy. She will be remembered by friends and family alike for her easy going nature, soft spot for birds & animals, love of the Beatles and her warm smile.

Laurie is survived by her father William Robinson, 86 brother James Robinson, 64, sister Lyssa Holmes 59, husband Gary Pitney 59, son Ethan Pitney 23, daughter Julie Pitney 21, as well as numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, and uncles.  She is now in heaven with her Mother Helen, Sister Debra Davis, and Sister in-law Debbie Pitney. Laurie lived her life with zest and was always there to lend a helping hand. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

A private family ceremony and scattering of ashes off the Santa Barbara coastline will take place during the morning hours of Saturday Sept 21st. A Celebration of Laurie’s life is planned the same day. Please email for details if you are interested in attending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the following charities that Laurie was passionate about:
C.A.R.E.4Paws @
Grace Fisher Foundation @
American Kidney Foundation at


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