Emilie McMinn Sears
Emilie McMinn Sears (née Martin) was born in McGill, Nevada on February 23, 1932. She passed away peacefully on February 6, 2021 in San Diego, CA.
Emilie’s family settled in Santa Barbara in 1946, where her parents James and Mary Martin owned the Busy Bee Cafe on State Street, and were pillars of the Greek Orthodox Community. Emilie attended SBHS where she served as Drum Majorette and, along with her brother Nick, built lifelong friendships.
A highly accomplished businesswoman, Emilie’s uniqueness of character allowed her to flourish in several different careers, including in retail fashion merchandising and management (Macy’s, Kimo’s Polynesian Shop, and Diane’s in La Cumbre Plaza). Along with her first husband, Brooklyn Dodger Pitcher, Glenn McMinn, she traveled extensively to Triple A Ballparks, where they counted among their friends, Sparky Anderson, Sandy Koufax, and Joe Amalfitano.
As many Santa Barbarans will remember, Emilie’s magnetic personality and professionalism proved to be the perfect match for a career in Real Estate. She listed and sold countless high end properties throughout Santa Barbara and Montecito, with Sunset Company, Coldwell Banker, Village Properties, and Horizon Real Estate, which she co-owned with her business partner Sondra Buschman.
In the 1990s, Emilie reconnected with Sondra’s brother, Jack Sears, whom she had known for many years, and would prove to be the love of her life. In 1998, Emilie and Jack traveled to the island of Rhodes, Greece, and were married by Emilie’s great uncle, a Greek Orthodox Priest. Alex Haimanis, longtime bartender at Harry’s Plaza Cafe served as the best man in their intimate ceremony.
Upon their return, Jack and Emilie settled further into their roles as the proprietors of the Cafel Del Sol at the SB Bird Refuge. “The Cafe” was a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike, and as Emilie went from table to table greeting customers, Jack handled the day to day operations, and relished the opportunity to let her shine. Thanksgiving soon became a special time for family and customers alike, when in the early 2000’s, Jack and Emilie began hosting a Thanksgiving Day Feast that they provided completely free of charge to those who would otherwise be without family (including The Cafe’s famous margaritas!). Emilie and Jack’s generosity was limitless, and their kindness was felt by all who experienced this special era at the Cafe Del Sol. In their later years, Emile and Jack relocated to San DIego to live with Jack’s sister Sondra. Jack Sears passed away in January 2019. May his memory be eternal.
Emilie’s memory will live on through the many people whose lives she touched. She leaves behind her nieces Nikki Martin Van Winkle and Jamie Chamberlin, who was also her God-daughter and whom she helped raise. She will always be remembered by her sister Artis Chamberlin Pattison, and her brother Ted Martin and his wife Cynthia. May her memory be eternal! Rest in Peace dear Emilie, we will miss you always.