Kenneth A. Pettit

Date of Birth

March 13, 1940

Date of Death

August 28, 2019

Ken was born in San Diego, California on March 13, 1940, he died peacefully in his sleep on August 28, 2019. He was the youngest of 4 boys, by the age of 4 he was orphaned and sent to live in a Utica, New York Masonic home. After graduating from high school he hitched a ride to California and never looked back. He married Margaret Ruiz and together they raised Melissa, Matthew, and Elizabeth.
In 1965, Ken graduated from California State College at Long Beach with a Bachelor’s in Art History. Shortly thereafter, he began his career at the County of Santa Barbara. In 1986, he was elected County Clerk Recorder-Assessor and was re-elected 3 times, in 2003 he retired after 37 years of service. Ken served as President of Santa Barbara Host Lions Club, President of the County Clerks Association of California, and an Executive Board Member of Old Spanish Days. He was a booster for the Downtown Boys and Girls Club, and active with the Hispanic Achievement Council and League of Women Voters. He received the First Annual Spirit of Democracy Award from Secretary of State, March Fong Eu and was recognized by several organizations for his service and contributions.

In his retirement years he loved to travel from Alaska to New York and Canada to Panama , and so many more places. He was a writer, his book Wiley Hall, a series of short stories was based on his experiences in the orphanage. He also loved the outdoors, spending time with family and friends camping and fishing in the Eastern Sierras.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Helen, his brothers, Charles, Robert, and James, and his former wife, Margaret. He is survived by his children, Melissa Peter (Rick), Matthew Pettit, and Elizabeth Palme (Chris), his grandsons Bijan and Leif Palme, granddaughter, Delaney Peter, his longtime friend, Nancy Dockum and numerous nieces and nephews.

“Our dad could be funnier than a comedian telling bigger than life stories that would make your belly hurt from laughter, he could be as serious as a heart attack and put the fear into many, childhood friends will confirm it from our teenage years doing stupid things. He was our coach, our advisor, our cheerleader, the life of the party, a fisherman, an athlete, a shoulder to cry on and the rock to hold us up, he really was our everything! He loved to travel, see different cultures and meet new people. He loved his friends – carpenters, plasters, plumbers and electricians, businessmen and women, auditors, lawyers, judges, and politicians; they came from all walks of life and he loved them all (okay so maybe not so much the last 3 professions). To say his loss will never fill a void would be an understatement but we are at peace knowing he is now checking off his bucket list of adventures and reeling in that elusive trout, Big Luke! We love you dad, always have and always will!”

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 26 at 12:00pm at Kiwanis Meadows in Tuckers Grove, casual attire encouraged. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Bob Geis for his endless support and assistance. Arrangements entrusted to Pueblo Del Rey Funeral Services.


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