Linda Mary Agren

Date of Birth

May 19, 1940

Date of Death

February 27, 2022

Our beloved mom and grandmother, Linda, passed away peacefully at her home in Santa Barbara at the age of 81.

Linda was born in California and proud to be a California native. She was the first child of Roy and Mary Jo Agren, and along with her younger brother Carl, she grew up in Anaheim. She recalled with fondness the acres of orange groves surrounding her hometown in Orange County in the 1950s, spending time with her grandparents, cousins and extended family throughout the county. While still in high school, she got her first job at Disneyland at age 15, when it opened in 1955. She loved that job and worked there every summer before college.

After high school, she attended the University of Arizona where she met her future husband John H. Butts, Jr. They married in 1961, and had two daughters: Melissa Ann and Elizabeth Joyce.

A life-long learner, Linda also attended UCSB. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1973; a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 1983 and a Masters in Museum Studies in 1996 from the University of Washington. When she completed her studies, she got a job at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She was a gifted grant writer and proved to be an essential employee in the Anthropology Department. She spent many years working at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and at the La Purissima Mission in Lompoc.

Mom always had many close friends. Wherever she lived, she found a fun group of supportive friends. She cherished all of them. She was a woman with a great sense of humor, she was a trusted friend, animal lover and artist. Her interests ranged from gardening (she started a garden tour in her neighborhood), quilting (she created many beautiful quilts and entered them in contests), genealogy (family traced back to 1690), jewelry making (and selling at craft shows) ethnic arts, and above all else, she was passionate about her little dogs (dog agility and training).

Linda leaves behind a daughter, Elizabeth (Don) Lewis of Orinda, grandchildren Andrew, Haley, Lindsey, Dana Stern, as well as her brother Carl Agren (Becky), numerous nieces and nephews and many, many friends. She was predeceased by her daughter Melissa Stern.

Linda will be deeply missed. Her strength, joy and laughter will be remembered by all who knew her. There will be a funeral mass at Mission Santa Barbara, April 9 at 11:00am, followed by a reception at the Museum of Natural History.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to:


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