Penny (Paula H.) Deley

Date of Birth

October 14, 1939

Date of Death

June 28, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Penny Deley, beloved mother and aunt and devoted friend, passed away quietly at her Santa Barbara home on June 28, 2022, surrounded by her adult children. Penny survived and thrived for 11 years receiving dialysis treatment for kidney failure, but finally elected to discontinue treatment due to multiple health issues.

Born in 1939 to Frank Brainard Havens and Paula Seymour Havens, Penny spent her formative years in the small borough of Palmerton, Pennsylvania. As a child, she sometimes accompanied the local mailman walking his route – to which she attributed her later ability to set the pace on any hike.

While attending Stanford University, Penny met and married (1959) the love of her life, Gary Walter Deley. After graduation (class of 1961), Penny taught high school English. The young couple moved to Santa Barbara, where Penny focused on homemaking and raising their two sons, David Warren Deley and Logan Erastus De Ley. Penny also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and tutored students in English composition at Santa Barbara City College.

The family enjoyed RV camping, especially in the wide-open spaces of the Western U.S. Penny and Gary took several extended trips, including a long tour of Alaska. Sometimes their adventures on the road were challenging, like the day they got three flat tires (with only two spares), and the time their tow vehicle went up in flames on a mountain road. They made it through these difficulties thanks to the kindness of strangers (both locals and fellow RVers).

Following the death of her husband in 2007, Penny moved to the Vista Del Monte retirement community, where she found rich friendships and intellectual companionship. A great lover of words and stories, she enjoyed opportunities to develop her writing skills and to express her “inner ham” through theatrical performances and facilitating a play reading group at Vista.

For Penny, religious faith was of paramount importance. She was, at different times, involved in several local churches (St. Mark United Methodist, Goleta Presbyterian, and First Congregational) as a parishioner, choir member, deacon, and volunteer. More recently, she found spiritual sustenance attending Torah study classes led by Rabbi Steve Cohen (Congregation B’nai B’rith).

Penny was an idealist, believing that we must remain hopeful, and that love and prayer lead us to wholeness and joy. In her later years, she set out on a conscious journey to recognize the worth of every person who came into her life. Her kindness, warmth, and irreverent sense of humor will be missed by friends and family, alike.

Penny is predeceased by her husband Gary Deley and her sister Helen Vail. She is survived by her children, David Deley and Logan (Eve) De Ley, her nephew, William (Claudia) DeLey, and her nieces, Carolyn (Richard) Diaz and Kimberly Anderson.

No formal service is planned at this time. Those wishing to honor Penny’s memory may make a gift to the Pacific Pride Foundation.


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