Amanda Mardon passed away peacefully on January 11th , 2020, surrounded by her immediate family after a 5½ year courageous fight with lung cancer. She lived a life deeply connected to and devoted to her family and friends. She had an amazing ability to listen and to offer sound advice, while being present and non-judgmental; her friends and family always felt that their trials and triumphs were supported and celebrated as if they were her own.
In addition to connecting with people, she enjoyed hiking the SB trails, dancing, sculpting, gardening, social activism, spiritual/philosophical pursuits, and conversations with depth and meaning. She also was a member of Toastmasters for many years and took great joy in challenging herself and sharing her stories.
Amanda was born to Austin and Eve Mardon in Wookey Hole, Somerset, England, on March 28th, 1943. When Amanda was 9, the family moved to Santa Barbara, where she attended Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Barbara Junior High, and Santa Barbara High School (class of 1960).
Her adventurous spirit called her to live and study in Montpellier, France, at the age of 19. At 21 she adopted a very different culture and language by moving to Beirut, Lebanon, where she married Afif Samaha and raised three daughters. While in Lebanon, Amanda taught English in a secondary school, where she was adored and respected by both students and fellow faculty. Already skilled in English and French she expanded her language repertoire to include Arabic!
In 1978, due to the civil war in Lebanon, Amanda and Afif brought their family to her hometown of Santa Barbara. Needing to help financially support her young family, she worked several different jobs including as an optician at Santa Barbara Optometry Care for 15 years. Helping and connecting with hundreds of patients gave her great satisfaction and joy. Amanda and Afif’s marriage lasted for 38 years.
In 2007, during a Contra Dance, Amanda met and soon fell in love with Mike Weissman. They married in 2012 in a beautiful ceremony on their property surrounded by their combined family of 5 children and 8 grandchildren and many friends. They both felt very fortunate and blessed to have found each other at this late stage of their lives and to have had a very happy, devoted, and joyful marriage for 7½ years.
Amanda is survived by her husband Mike, her daughters Eva Samaha, Ursula O’Connor, and Anita Samaha, her sisters Athena Foley and Annette Collins, her grandchildren Anya, Kylan, and Kiva, and her extended Weissman family.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her honor to the Santa Barbara Visiting Nurses Hospice Program or to the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center.
A celebration of her life will take place on February 1st, but the space is very limited.
If you would like to attend, please contact Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org) or one of the family members.