Santos Ojeda, 87, died peacefully at his home in Goleta after a long courageous battle with cancer. Santos is survived by his wife Rita of 64 years, his children Samuel Ojeda (Christine) and Rita Kathleen Haake (Christopher) and his grandchildren Jennifer Haake, Christina Haake, Michael Ojeda and Joseph Haake. Santos is predeceased by his parents and four older siblings. He was a child of the Great Depression growing up on Lawrence Avenue and Haley Street helping his family pick walnuts and raising goats. He attended Franklin and Our Lady Guadalupe School then graduated from Santa Barbara Catholic High School in 1950. He served in the Korean War as an Army Corporal in the infantry and as a Spanish interpreter for a Puerto Rican unit. During the war he began his courtship with his future wife, Rita Escobar, through letter correspondence. After returning home he married Rita and had a 36-year career at Caltrans working in Santa Barbara, Petaluma and Salinas CA. He started as a janitor and through years of hard work he achieved his final position of Superintendent.
Santos had a life-long passion growing orchids and was an Orchid Society Club member for over 60 years receiving multiple awards at orchid shows. He was also a member of the GI Forum, VFW, Boy Scout Troop 52, Bishop High School Dad’s Club, St. Raphael Church Eucharistic Ministry, Horticultural Society, and the Santa Barbara Rare Fruit Association. He was a Life Member of the Elks Lodge for 33 years and member of the Elks Lodge Drum & Bugle Corp, and Flag Honor Guard. He enjoyed fishing, building his greenhouses and landscape designing. His greatest joy was doing things with his family, traveling, and being with people.
The Ojeda family would like to thank the nurses and caregivers of Hospice as well as Dr. Mukul Gupta for their support.
A Rosary service will be held at Santa Barbara Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel on Friday, January 10 at 7pm. The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, January 11 at 10:00am at St. Raphael Church. Graveside Services will be at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.