William (“Bill”) Pertsulakes
Bill Pertsulakes, a loving, warmhearted, empathetic, spiritual and beloved father, grandfather, President of Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church for 3 years (the parishioners and church would not let him term out after each year); Chair VIPs (seniors of the church who loved him), GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth Association, and Godfather to over 50 youth!); musician, chef (lamb dinners with special Greek sauces), Captain and skipper of Westwind (sail boat) and Relationship (power boat), charismatic, a very close friend and family member to many, and more importantly, he was blessed with uncommon common sense.
Bill was a true Santa Barbara native, He was born at St. Francis Hospital, attended Peabody School, La Colina Junior High School, and San Marcus High School graduating in 1965. After high school, Bill attended the University of Arizona graduating in 1969 with a degree in Clinical Psychology! While at college, Bill played in the UA marching band that was reported to be the best college band in the US and, as such, it was invited to play at the half time show of the very first Super Bowl in 1967.
After college, Bill moved back to Santa Barbara in1969 to work at his mother and father’s restaurant, Leon’s Restaurant, and then their family’s bar, Golden Cock where he oftentimes played music for its customers. Beginning in late 1970s, Bill and his mother and father, Eleni and Athanasos, started the AHW Investment company specializing in real estate investments which continues to this day under the direction of current family members.
Because Bill Pertsulakes was such a fun, perhaps even a bit wild, type of person, there are many stories of Bill and his wife, Carol Pertsulakes, also a bit wild, through the years. How Bill and Carol met was at a Halloween party on the schooner Swift of Ipswich, while anchored overnight in Smugglers’ Cove, Santa Cruz Island. Carol stowed aboard, not having been officially invited to the party, but Bill noticed her in the “crow’s nest!” In 1975 Bill and Carol were married in Las Vegas, having eloped, after he asked her to marry him at Chuck’s Steak House on upper State Street. Carol did not accept until a few weeks later with the comment that she will, “fix his wagon and marry him.”
Bill treasured his “boys”, Richard and Tommy, through the many years and because of his trust in them, his sincere feelings instilled in each of them an important sense of their own self-esteem that will forever guide them in their lives. An example of his trust was one night on their way to Catalina on their sail boat, Westwind, Tommy, age about 8, was left alone in the cockpit to guide the boat through the tanker channel and to Catalina all night. Bill went to bed admittedly a bit nervous, but nevertheless trusted Tommy. Tommy did it with original thinking of setting his setting alarm for every 15 minutes to watch around the boat in case he fell asleep. Richard at about age 15 years old was given the task of taking the sailboat to Catalina by himself for many years.
The Pertsulakes family also was and continues to be involved with the Santa Barbara Yacht Club beginning in 1975 and have contributed in so many ways to the club over 3 generations of the family. A special trophy was contributed by Bill and Carol to the club in 2008 in honor of Bill’s mother, Eleni Pertsulakes. The trophy was titled, The Eleni Pertsulakes Memorial “Spirit of Cruising Trophy” each year to the club member of the cruising fleet that most represented that year camaraderie, and enthusiasm that generates increased participation. Naturally, the trophy was a bronze Greek sculpture of a mother gray whale giving her pup its first breath of air.
The Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church was very important to Bill and he and his family were intimately involved in the many church activities. Many years Bill was chair of the annual Greek Festival in addition to his responsibilities to the many committees he was involved with and even chair for many years. Oftentimes Bill would volunteer the boat, Relationship, for church fund raising events such as the time he had two wellknown opera singers join for the entertainment. One of singers also happened to be a church parishioner who volunteered her time.
Bill is survived by his “boys” Richard T. Pertsulakes, his fiancé, Ashley O’Brien, and Tommy W. Pertsulakes and his wife, Caitlin J. Pertsulakes and their daughter, Aurora C. Pertsulakes.
A Trisagion service will be held at the Greek Church, 1205 San Antonio Creek Rd, Santa Barbara, Ca on Friday, March 6th at 7:00PM, and funeral services at the Church on Saturday at 11:00AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Santa Barbara Navy League and the Santa Cruz Island Foundation.