Virginia Elaine Stewart Jarvis
Virginia Elaine Stewart Jarvis, beloved mom and dear friend passed away at age 88 in the comfort of her home in Santa Barbara on May 31, 2021.
Born in Stockton, California to Harry and Alyce Stewart on February 19th, 1933, Virginia was raised in Danville, California where she helped to run the family business, The San Ramon Valley Lumber Company.
An important part of her adolescence was the study of the violin from which evolved a lifelong love of classical music.
Virginia’s education was shaped by attending San Domenico School in San Rafael, California, where she made lifelong friends and later Stanford University where she graduated with degrees in Speech and Drama.
She married Charles Henry Jarvis and together they moved to Santa Barbara in 1958 to start their family while Charles practiced law at Schramm & Raddue and later at Jarvis, Hartloff and Simon.
Bright, strong, kind, stubborn, opinionated, creative, patient, conservative and open minded, Virginia could be a force as quiet and powerful as the tides. From her parents she inherited a love of people and her distinctive business sense, which blended astuteness and resourcefulness with fairness and a nurturing quality. Her ownership for many years of a small plaza in Sacramento was motivated as much by a desire to give family businesses a helpful push as it was by the modest profits that resulted.
She also keenly watched the markets and invested wisely. But she would say that her greatest investments were always her children, Cynthia and Dow; and her numerous friends to whom she loved to offer guidance, or lend an ear. A voracious reader, her book collection was as much about the books she loved as it was about the books she hoped to share. An enthusiastic planner and organizer of extended family trips, she was also something of a cat whisperer, turning a succession of shy felines into outgoing and gregarious extroverts.
Affliction seemed only to make her spirit stronger, intensifying her curiosity, empathy with others and love of life. After the tragic loss of her daughter Cynthia, in December of 1993, Virginia carried on a deep connection to Cynthia’s friends and pursuits, creating an endowment for dance students
at the University of Georgia at Athens. For many years, Virginia purposefully kept her advanced stage of emphysema at bay through diligent adherence to a series of dietary and health practices; for she simply had no time to surrender to a disease when there were so many things to accomplish, books to read, friends (young and old) to appreciate and projects to start. Ever the daughter of a lumber yard owner, she lived her life to build with quality and character. Her light continues in those lucky enough to have been graced by her friendship and love.
A celebration of Virginia will follow. For information, please contact Tapiola47@gmail.com In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Direct Relief