E. Pia Woolverton

Date of Birth

February 10, 1933

Date of Death

March 28, 2022

Pia was born in Lucerne, Switzerland on February 10, 1933 attending schools there and finishing with a degree in administration at the age of 18. Finding life in Switzerland too provincial for her tastes, she boarded the Queen Elizabeth bound for New York, arriving on December 27, 1952, and took a job at Swiss Air in the Public Relations department.

In 1954, she headed to the west coast, driving cross country and landing in Los Angeles. There she worked at the regional Swiss Air office for a time until leaving to become the administrative assistant to Paul Helms, the founder of Helms Bakery.

Starting in the mid 70’s, she worked as the administrative assistant to the director of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, initiating their early fundraising efforts which made possible an enormous refurbishment of the institution.

When she moved to Santa Barbara in 1989, she began working with the Trust for Historic Preservation, helping to organize their fundraising, resulting in the restoration of the Presidio buildings as they stand today. She also worked with the Mental Health Association and was a longtime supporter of the Natural History Museum.

An avid traveler, who visited all the continents except Antarctica, Pia made an extended visit throughout China in 1986 to participate in a study of the Silk Road, for which she wrote a presentation. She returned again in the 1990’s to visit the many friends she made during the first trip.

She passed away on March 28, 2022 at her home and in her sleep and is survived by her son Peter, two grandchildren, Marcella and Nico, and two great grandchildren, Arthur and Rhys.


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