John Randall Enholm

Date of Birth

January 22, 1959

Date of Death

February 5, 2022

John Randall Enholm left this earth February 5 th , in his sleep, after having just enjoyed an epic day with friends and family. John always considered Santa Barbara home but had relocated to Paso Robles about 5 years ago. He is gone too soon.

John was born in Washington D.C., January 22, 1959, but moved to Santa Barbara before starting school. Like any of us who were lucky enough to grow up in Santa Barbara in the 60’s and 70’s, he had a great childhood, attending Vieja Valley, La Colina and San Marcos High School. A gifted athlete and waterman, John excelled in youth sports and as an adult at surfing and tennis. The youngest of four brothers, his brothers like to think they had something to do with John’s success, but John did it “his way”.

John graduated from UC San Diego where he majored in history and played on the volleyball team. He preferred 2-man beach volleyball where his ability to jump and spike, almost anything, made him fun to watch. John studied history because he was fascinated by people. His studies provided an excuse for spending months in Europe, somehow borrowing a motorcycle and doing things like touring Normandy World War II sites, with the motorcycle owner’s daughter on the back.

John married the love of his life, Nancy Leslie, in 1989, in Cabo San Lucas, long before destination weddings became a thing. In John fashion, he met Kevin Costner in the bar and was invited to go deep sea fishing the next day. He turned Kevin down not because he had wedding party responsibilities. That would not have deterred John (“Ah, Ah, I think we can get back in time.”). He turned him down because he had no idea who Kevin was.

The next chapter in John’s life was raising their 3 children in the art of enjoying life as much as he did. A San Marcos Royal letterman, John was proud to see his oldest son play tennis for his alma mater. He then made the switch to green and gold becoming an active Santa Barbara Don’s booster. He was always there supporting his children in each of their chosen sports – tennis, football and diving. If a fundraising event needed a cook or a bartender John was there.

He was most happy to see his family grow up with the children of his childhood friends and continue his traditions of friendship. John had a varied career, including a long stint in mortgage banking; but he was willing to work hard at almost anything. Most recently he was a painting estimator and supervised painting crews. This job was a perfect fit.

In addition to Nancy, John is survived by his mother, Wilma Grise and his brothers; Bob (Vicky Brademan), Bill (Jennie) and Jim (Cristin) and his stepsisters; Robin Stieber and Joan McGraw. He is also survived by his children; Travis, Russell and Nina and his brothers’ children; Allison Stalla (Zeid), Hayley Harper Swarbrick (Andrew), Casey Salas (Greg), Kyle Enholm and Malaina Enholm. John was predeceased by his father Robert W. Enholm, his stepmother Diane B. Enholm, his stepfather Richard F. Grise, M.D. and his stepbrother Robert C. Kohler III.

John leaves many, many friends and relatives who miss him and his enthusiasm for most everything dearly. He lives on in their stories and memories. A celebration of life is planned for March 26 th , in Santa Barbara. For more information contact


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