Robin R. Wilby

Date of Birth

June 12, 1945

Date of Death

April 29, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Robin R. Wilby passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara with her beloved family at her side after a valiant 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Vista Del Monte’s Summer House provided compassionate palliative residential care beginning in 2019, offering tremendous physical and emotional support.

Robin was born in Burbank, CA to Robert R. Rothenburg and Lillian Loomis, living her early life in North Hollywood, CA with her older sister Norma. She lost her mother at the age of three, and was subsequently raised by her Grandmother Fairbanks and father, until he remarried Adele Zorn several years later. Adele was a speech therapist for the L.A. school system, and acted as a wonderful stepmother to Robin. Her love and care spanned Robert’s life and beyond, with him passing away during Robin’s freshman year at UCSB.

Seeking a change of pace and new surroundings, Robin transferred to the University of Massachusetts to live with her sister Norma and Norma’s husband Mike Peters, a Professor of Entomology at UMass. Upon arriving, she pursued her love of fashion design and the culinary arts, also joining the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Marketing & Merchandising and Home Economics, Robin met her future husband Charles (Terry) B. Wilby, also a student at the University.

Upon graduation, Robin was accepted into Bloomingdale’s of New York’s executive training program. She lived in New York City for three years, happily thriving and excelling in the world of fashion retailing. Having continued their relationship after college, Robin and Charles announced their wedding plans after he returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam as an army engineer/photographer.

Still drawn to her home state, Robin and Charles settled in Santa Barbara in 1970, with Charles studying at the Brooks Institute of Photography. There they raised three wonderful boys, all born locally at Cottage Hospital.

Robin had many loves in life. She enjoyed writing to friends and family and taking in the latest film and performing arts events. Robin celebrated her faith for over 40 years as a sustaining member of All Saints By the Sea Episcopal Church and enjoyed participating in and supporting her philanthropic passion with PEO. She loved experimenting with food, cooking amazing meals and she strived to get the most out of life while believing strongly in leaving it better for those still behind. Robin’s heart was most drawn to her family, always there for them. She was very passionate about her three son’s education, guiding them through their studies from a very early age, always encouraging scholastic excellence. She was extremely proud of their ability to earn college degrees and find success in their careers, both testaments to the values she so selflessly instilled.

Robin is survived by her husband and three sons: Bryan (wife Amy), Jordan (wife Michelle), Nicholas (wife Kristine), and four grandchildren: Peri, Jack, Aaden and Owen.  She was very proud and fond of her family, always striving to bring them together for the holidays and to share in her good cooking they all enjoyed.

Robin’s family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Vista Del Monte Summer House for their care and comfort during her final years. They constantly found a way to bring out her enduring vibrant and fun-loving soul. Her sense of humor never wavered, smiling, laughing and dancing, up until her final days gracing all of us.

The Wilby family would ask that any gifts in Robin’s memory be made to your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.


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