Leanna D’Andrea Merritt
Leanna (D’Andrea) Merritt passed away peacefully at Serenity House on September 11, 2020. Leanna was born in Santa Barbara, CA, on November 17, 1949 to parents Louise and Graciano D’Andrea. She attended local schools including Franklin Elementary, Cold Spring School, Santa Barbara Junior High, and Santa Barbara High School, graduating in the class of 1967. As a child and teenager she was surrounded by many close friends and cousins, most of whom still live in Santa Barbara today.
Leanna spent her younger days raising her three beloved children: Jim, Jason, and Lanette, and worked hard giving them a happy and healthy childhood in Santa Barbara. She began her long insurance career with Dean & Estabrook and continued her tenure with agencies that combined forces including MFC&V, Manchester, DWP and Brown & Brown Insurance. Leanna was admired as an empathetic and supportive leader, and she was highly regarded among her colleagues before her retirement in 2019. When she wasn’t working, she enjoyed time with her book club and taking Pilates classes. She was also a proud member of the Italian Boot Club in Santa Barbara, and was elected to the Board in 2019.
Leanna married Laurence Merritt on February 24, 1996 in Maui. They shared a joy of travel, taking many trips to Hawaii, Europe, and an unforgettable cruise to Alaska over the course of their marriage.
Leanna was an independent, strong, beautiful, intelligent, and vibrant person who was known for her caring nature and infectious laugh. What she loved most was spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, and she was looking forward to more family time, travel, and time at the beach in her retirement.
She is survived by her mother Louise D’Andrea, brother Gary D’Andrea (Theresa), aunt Catherine Romero, husband Larry Merritt, sons Jim Herrick and Jason Herrick (Kelly), daughter Lanette Oviedo (Rosendo), niece Nicole D’Andrea, and beloved grandchildren Christian Oviedo, and Jocelyn, Sophia, Spencer, and Tristan Herrick, as well as a granddaughter, Peyton Herrick, on the way. She had many cousins and members of her extended family whom she remained close to, and many friends that were in her life since childhood. Our family’s loss is immeasurable.
We will miss her incredible sense of humor, her infectious laugh, and her ability to see the silver lining in every situation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Leanna’s name to Ridley Tree Cancer Center. A celebration of life is being planned at the Santa Barbara Mission in October.