Angela Socorro Brantingham

Date of Birth

October 23, 1923

With profound sadness we announce the passing of our beloved and remarkable mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother and friend Angela Socorro Brantingham whose zest for life kept her thriving for 97 years. She was born Angela Mendez Merida on October 23, 1923 to Don Juan Manuel Mendez Aponte and Maria del Socorro Merida Sclopis Mendez. She was born at home in a small mountain town called Cañazas located in the hill country of the province of Veraguas in the Republic of Panama. Her father, a gracious man, owned the town market and supported other families in addition to his 13 children.  She earned a scholarship to study in the United States at Marycrest, a Catholic college in Iowa. She later earned a Masters Degree at the University of Ohio in Education. She returned to Panama to work as a teacher in the Canal Zone where she met her future husband Barclay (Barney)  Brantingham who was stationed in the army at Fort Kobbe. They married in 1957 and settled in Barneys hometown of Park Forest, Illinois where their first son Barclay was born.

The young family then moved to Goleta, California and soon arrived daughters Frances Maria, Wendy, and son Kenneth, all born at St. Francis Hospital. Angela earned her teaching credentials at University of Santa Barbara and taught Spanish at Dos Pueblos High School until her retirement in 1984.

She was extensively traveled with her passions leading her around the world to Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She was up for any adventure, be it cruising the Mediterranean Sea or riding a camel in Egypt.  A devout Roman Catholic, she completed a tour of Israel as well as Catholic Holy sites. Her travels also included camping road trips with her young family, visiting many state and national parks in the western United States, including her favorites- Yosemite and Sequoia.

Throughout her life Angela had the support and love of her family and siblings. She was admired for her strength and sense of humor by all who knew her. She was an avid reader, knowledgeable in a multitude of subjects.  A lifelong Roman Catholic, the Church was a big part of her spiritual life, and she was devoted to the Blessed Virgin.  She attended St. Raphael Catholic Church with all her children and volunteered in the Sanctuary Guild for years, lovingly cleaning and preparing the Church for Mass.

She loved gathering with family for birthdays and the annual Super Bowl party.  She gave her children perhaps the best gift of all, frequent trips to her beloved Panama where they enjoyed time with their many Tios and Tias and cousins.

During a trip back to Panama she decided to stay, enjoying many more years of joy in the country of her birth, returning to Santa Barbara under the loving care of her daughter Frances.

She is survived by her children: Barclay Brantingham, Frances Maria Brantingham, Wendy Brantingham, and Kenneth Brantingham. She has seven grandchildren: Lexi Lee Bushnell, Natassia Brantingham, Joshua Nybakken, Danielle Arellanes, Aaron Brantingham, Cecilia Brantingham, and Marc Brantingham. She has three great grandchildren: Brianna Jennings, Skylar and Scarlett Horst, and ex- husband and friend Barney Brantingham.

A mass will be held in her honor at Saint Raphael Catholic Church, 5444 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93111 on Friday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to Saint Raphael Catholic Church.


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