Richard “Dick” Fayette Fairchild

Date of Birth

November 14, 1924

Date of Death

December 17, 2021

Richard “Dick” Fayette Fairchild passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on December 17, 2021 at the age of 97. Dick was a man of Christian faith, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, soldier, student, teacher, linguist, classical music lover, surveyor, gardener, mechanic, musician, singer, avocado farmer, target shooter, tennis player and ping pong enthusiast.

Dick was born in Hilo, Hawaii on November 14, 1924 to parents Richard Fayette Fairchild Sr. and Gladys Shelbourne (Arnold) Fairchild. He had two siblings, Jeffrey Fairchild and Judith Fue, who preceded him in death. Their father was a career Army officer and the family moved frequently before settling on several acres of land in Montecito in 1943, where Dick planted an avocado orchard on the front acre. After high school, Dick enlisted in the Army. He served in Europe at the end of World War II and studied French at the Sorbonne. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1951 as a French major. Dick married Greta (Russell) Fairchild in 1958. They built a house that year in the avocado orchard, which is still home today. For ten years they lived in New Cuyama, where Richard taught many subjects at the high school level, including French and Spanish. Eventually he specialized in Math, returning to Santa Barbara to teach at San Marcos High School for many years. Dick was a longtime member of El Montecito Presbyterian Church and Choir. He co-founded the Santa Barbara Table Tennis Club in 1946, which continues to meet at the Carrillo Recreation Center.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Greta Fairchild; their four children (Matt, Sara, Paul, and Andrew); 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. His wife often referred to him as the original Boy Scout, and his children remember him for creating a world of stability and love for his family. He will be forever missed.


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