William Ure, M.D.
Dr. William Ure, 86, retired local Internist, passed away from metastases of the skin cancer he battled for over 30 years, on February 1, 2022 at Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara, CA. He is survived by his elder daughter Elizabeth Saul, of Bellevue WA; his younger daughter Patricia McGuire, of Cambridge England; his grandson Zach Saul, of Chicago; his granddaughter Shani Saul, of Austin; and his devoted life partner for the past 18 years, Julie Antelman, who resides in Vista del Monte.
Born in Minneapolis in 1935, William Ure V was the child of Scots and Danish immigrants. His favorite childhood memories all involved interacting with nature: enjoying pets like chipmunk Sparky and raccoon Jones; boyscouts, campfires, fishing, the Gunflint Trail, Camp Comfort, skiing, butterfly collecting, birdwatching, and even field botany. As well, he learned piano from his mother and whiled away many winter hours doing chemistry experiments in the basement.
His family moved from Minneapolis to Forest Grove, Oregon in 1947, where Bill finished High School, then earned a B.A. in psychology at Reed College in 1957 and an M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1961. He married LaVelle Richburg, and they moved north for a University of Chicago residency, growing the family with the birth of Elizabeth Ann and Patricia Kay. The army sent Bill to Fort Ord, California, but before he could be deployed to Vietnam, the war ended and the family moved to the Santa Barbara area in 1967. They were fortunate enough to purchase the house at 2310 Santa Barbara St. in 1972, where Bill lived through 2018.
In Santa Barbara Bill joined an established Internist partnership that became Dalton Togstad and Ure, where he healed people for close to 30 years. As an Internist in such a small private practice, Bill not only saw patients in the office, but was on call every third night and weekend, made occasional house-calls, and was affiliated with Cottage, St. Francis, and Goleta Valley Hospitals as well as many local nursing homes. He served on a variety of boards at Cottage Hospital, belonged to Doctors Without Borders, and drove a car with the bumpersticker motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally” long before environmental activism was widespread. Bill cared deeply for his patients and was known for treating people regardless of their insurance status; on principle he continued to see Medicare patients during a time when many doctors would not.
Bill lost LaVelle to lymphoma in 2004. After a long search, he found Julie Antelman. The couple, both widowed, had four points of geographic connection. Both had: attended Reed; lived in Hyde Park with professional ties to the University of Chicago; been born and raised in Minneapolis; and, incredibly, lived on Thomas Avenue (albeit, at opposite ends)! Bill and Julie quickly formed a loving bond that lasted through his passing.
Possessed of an admirable moral compass, Bill believed in philanthropy of deed, generously devoting many hours to Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic, Doctors Without Borders, and the Viola da Gamba society. Several times he hosted international exchange students, invited musicians to live in his house for low rent, and opened his home for rehearsals and performances. He often chauffeured people around town when they lost mobility. He believed that everyone deserved a second chance, and that those who have must share with those who don’t.
Bill had a passion for construction, sporting the philosophy that “everything is better if you do it yourself.” He was just as comfortable plumbing and soldering as he was pouring cement, drilling metal, rewiring an appliance, or constructing with wood. In fact, Bill so enjoyed woodworking that he apprenticed himself to a local instrument maker, and ultimately built a number of beautiful violins, violas da gamba, lutes, and even the obscure Tromba Marina. He was also an excellent amateur musician who was very active in the Early Music community. He taught himself to play all five registers of gambas and recorders, joined many local and regional music groups, and hosted a sight-singing Early Music group in his house every Sunday for close to 30 years.
A lifelong ornithologist and member of the Audubon Society, Bill participated in the annual national Christmas count and helped rehabilitate seabirds coated with oil during a spill. He taught wild scrub jays to come at his whistle to eat peanuts from his hand, and many remember the mallard ducks and bantam chickens that freely roamed the property in the late ‘70s.
Everyone who knew Bill was aware that he was an avid collector and an Enthusiast. Over the years his curated collections ranged from butterflies and moths to geodes, stamps, woodworking chisels, drums, jazz/classical recordings, and early music folios. Some lesser collections included metal hardware, plumbing devices, old plywood pieces, and obsolete tools. As well, he was a gifted raconteur, sharing animated and unusual stories from his life.
Bill enjoyed playing games with children and adults equally. He was a master of Charades, Chess, Risk, and Diplomacy; he loved Go, Dictionary, Bridge, Sergeant Major, and all games of logic; for many years he attacked the daily crossword with gusto. He was equally happy playing badminton, throwing a frisbee, playing 20 questions, or just being “the claw.”
Bill deeply valued authentic, ‘down-to-earth’ relationships and playful fun. He will especially be remembered for his sense of humor: quirky, pun-filled, alternatingly childlike and saucy, and always intended to bring joy, surprise, and laughter to others.
An online Memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 27 2022 10a PST at this zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2020305769. In addition, you are invited to submit photos or memories to our book: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/Z0OrYrS1. To stay in touch, email Patricia at email@example.com.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Santa Barbara Audubon Society: https://santabarbaraaudubon.org/.