Donald E. Kelliher

Date of Birth

December 11, 1935

Date of Death

February 12, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

It is with great sadness that we announce Don Kelliher passed away on February 12, 2022 from a sudden and brief illness at the age of 86.

Don was born to Mayville (Doc) and Myrna Kelliher on December 11, 1935, in Santa Barbara, Ca. Don attended Santa Barbara High School, alumni 1953 and UCSB 1959. Don excelled in his athletic career, following in his fathers footsteps at UCSB. He engaged in everything from high jumps, shot puts, javelin throws, Basketball, Football, Golf and Track and Field, all while achieving many championships. He was inducted into the Gaucho Hall of Fame for being the “Most Valuable Gaucho” and was named Track and Field Athlete of the year in 1958 at UCSB. He was stellar.

Don had a strong career path ranging from teaching, coaching, dabbling in real estate and ultimately becoming a local General Contractor, Keystone Construction.

He was a man who wore many hats and had many nicknames. Many just knew him as Don, but he was Papa or Papa Don to the grandkids. He was dad to Craig, Chris and Ken, grandpa to eleven grandkids and a great grandpa to three great grandchildren. His grandkids were his everything. And he would say they were “AWESOME”. Don was a strong independent man who lived a simple life. He was hard headed and mindset in his ways sometimes, but he also had a heart of gold. He was always available when you needed him. His generosity and kindness would shine right through him. He was a creature of habit, you’d see him cruising the Mesa in his black truck, grabbing a cup of coffee through the drive thru, or just enjoying a conversation with those around him. But more often than not, you’d see him at the golf course. He loved the game of golf, it was one of his favorite passions. He was still determined to master his swing at the age of 86. He was a friend, father figure and a mentor to many, young and old. He created so many wonderful bonds with so many people. We will all miss the bright blue eyed, smiling man, wearing his signature look, Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants. So many friends and acquaintances have all shared such heartwarming stories about him, thank you. Our hearts are broken. He will definitely be missed. He was a classic.

Thank you to the nurses at Cottage and Serenity House for his care. Thank you to all of his friends who have offered their support and condolences during this time.

No services will be held at this time. In remembrance of Don, he would like everyone to just pay it forward.


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