Barbara Marie Sanchez

Date of Birth

January 27, 1936

Date of Death

December 31, 2019

On Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Barbara passed away peacefully from complications due to pneumonia. Barbara was born in Lompoc, to Harlan and Edith (Baggett) Swonger. Barbara was an exceedingly warm, funny and adventurous person.

Her family and friends fondly remember her for: She loved peaceful time in her garden, a cup of coffee in hand, cat by her side and a newspaper at the ready, as the birds were singing in the nearby fruit trees. She would plan her day by circling the garage sales and estate sales hoping to find another great “treasure” bargain that she would be proud of. If any of us kids dropped in to visit, she would say “oh hi honey, come on in”. Cooking, was just one of the many talents that she possessed. Always on the lookout for exciting new recipes, the most beloved by her kids was her roast beef and mashed potatoes. It was the “go to” for birthdays and special occasions. Mom was a true Democrat, and cared deeply about women rights and other important political issues. Often you could find her at one protest or another; she never shied from expressing her beliefs. Mom loved her friends dearly, old and new. Whether she was playing Canasta, having a glass of wine or a get together over dinner, she adored this time spent with her many friends, who can attest to her wonderful dinner parties where everyone was welcome.

She loved to travel, often on her own with simply a backpack to her name. Whether it be traveling around Europe or to Mexico, where she would sneak fireworks across the US border, for her son for use in the desert. She generously sent her children and grandchildren on voyages across the world because she felt we would better understand the world as a whole if we were able to experience the diversity of people. Barbara was always in search of a great deal, in order to get the most bang for her buck, to the benefit of her kids, friends and the occasional stranger. Barbara also loved the theater, and in particular she loved local productions, and performed in several plays in Santa Barbara. Her kids remember many warm summer nights, going folk dancing at the Unitarian church followed by a visit to Denny’s to get a soft drink, ice cream or hot chocolate. Barbara had a deep love of Santa Barbara and was strongly involved in the local community.

Barbara held several jobs in Santa Barbara. Here are a few places she had worked: Santa Barbara City College – Secretary to the coach for SBCC, where she met her first husband, Raymond “Sam” Sanchez, a baseball/basketball star for the college. “The Jolly Tiger” Restaurant- Waitress “Dos Pueblos High School”- Attendance Office Administrator “Real Estate Agent” – One of Santa Barbara’s best, because she truly embraced the challenges. Everyone loved and admired her knowledge, common sense approach, honesty and her effervescent personality. She was a proud member of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

Barbara is survived by: Her third husband Robin Montz; six children, Kathy and Bob Rowley, Crystal and Mike Godwin, Mark and Jan Sanchez, Patty and Kevin Crisp, Lisa Cahill, Julie and David James; two sisters, Mayetta Trent and Donna Evers; brother, Claude Swonger. Barbara had 10 grandkids and 8 great grandkids; in addition to the many “furry friends” she welcomed into her life.

Barbara is preceded in death by: Her parents Harlan and Edith Swonger, infant son Sammy Sanchez. first husband Raymond Sanchez, second husband Ralph Poulin, and brother Lee Swonger.

A couple of lighthearted mom quotes, we (her kids) have heard throughout the years: “Don’t have kids” (followed by a wink and a smile), “If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist”, “Hello dear heart, how are you today honey”. “That “thingy” over here or over there” “Oooh….that lump in your cream o’ wheat, means you get to make a wish” Mom, you are so loved and adored, we will miss you every single day. We know that heaven gained an angel with spark and you’ve probably already posted your first heavenly real estate listing! Love your kids: Kathy. Crystal, Mark, Patty, Lisa and Julie

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11:00 am at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara CA. 93101. All are welcome. Barbara will be laid to rest in the Santa Barbara Cemetery. 1/1


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