Sheila Clare Kamhi

Date of Birth

July 11, 1925

Date of Death

May 31, 2020

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, Sheila Clare Kamhi passed away in her home in Thousand Oaks, just weeks away from her 95th birthday.

Born on July 11, 1925, in New York City. She graduated with a BS in chemistry from Hunter College in 1945 where she met Eleanor Roosevelt, who inspired her to engage politically and influenced the remainder of her life. After graduation, Sheila married Martin Kamhi, with who she raised three children. First establishing a home in Long Island, NY, they moved to several cities in Arizona, California, and Virginia before finally settling in Santa Barbara. After the couple’s divorce in 1983, Sheila remained in Santa Barbara where she lived an active life full of community involvement for almost 40 years. In her later years she moved to Sacramento then Thousand Oaks to be near family.

In Santa Barbara, Sheila was most prominently active in the League of Women Voters, where she held many leadership roles including co-President, mentored other volunteers, and formed many lasting friendships. She was honored to be named the organization’s Woman of the Year.

Sheila also was active in numerous other community organizations including American Association of University Women, Planned Parenthood, and serving as a docent at the Santa Barbara Art Museum.

Sheila enjoyed traveling and visited many of the prominent art museums across the globe. She instilled a love of theater in all her children and their families. She hosted luncheons and tea parties in her Santa Barbara home, where a vast collection of orchids thrived in her garden. She maintained her independence well after surrendering her license at age 88, and continued to travel between Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Sacramento to visit friends and family.

Sheila is preceded in death by her daughter Carla Kamhi, and is survived by her sons Victor (Virginia) Kamhi and Benjamin Kamhi, and grandchildren: Philip (Florence) Kamhi, Tamar Foster, Jonathan (Sharon) Foster, and Sophie Kamhi. She is also survived by her great grandchildren: Connor, Martin, Claire, and Edward.

Much loved by all, she will be missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider a tax deductible donation to the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Education Fund in memory of Sheila Kamhi, sent to LWVSB Service, 328 Carrillo St., Suite A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.


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