John Joseph Cornejo

Date of Birth

June 26, 1953

Date of Death

August 29, 2022

John Joseph Cornejo, 69, of Santa Barbara CA, passed away on August 29, 2022. John’s battle against cancer ended in the care of hospice while surrounded by loving family. 

He was born on June 26, 1953 in Santa Barbara CA, to Jose and Guillerma Cornejo, who preceded him in death. His formidable years were spent in Goleta, Casmalia, and Dos Pueblos Ranch among wide open spaces which served as a playground for him and his siblings; birthing his great love of nature. 

He worked with the US Forest Service as a park ranger, Circle Bar B Ranch, drove as a city school bus driver, as well as at the Santa Barbara Zoo helping with the elephants and as train operator. John retired from a career at the City of Santa Barbara as a Water Front Maintenance Facility Worker at the harbor. After his retirement John stayed busy as a camp host at Tuckers Grove Park and worked as a mechanic at the Botanical Gardens where he could be seen in the company of his faithful dog Samantha, who accompanied him to work every day.  His love of the outdoors, gardening, camping, fishing, and animals in addition to his amazing mechanical aptitude were present in each pursuit of John’s pastimes, hobbies, and jobs.

He was a long-standing member of the Bravados Motorcycle Club of Santa Barbara. There was a time when he was never far from his bike, always ready for adventure, and equipped to take on life to the fullest. He loved to travel and was able to created lasting bonds of loyal brotherhood with club members creating a lifetime of great stories to recount.

Another passion of John’s was photography; he leaves a legacy of photos which chronicled the loves he fostered in combination with the journeys he made. He enjoyed capturing pictures of family vacations, get togethers, camping trips, his work life, the numerous rides he participated in, and countless nostalgic moments from every phase of his life. Each picture attests to the nurturing bonds he cultivated with his children, the women he loved, the family he was a part of, and the spirit with which he embraced and loved life.                 

The most memorable things about John were his easy-going disposition, his ability to always have a smile on his face, his friendly mannerism, the fact he was such a soft, gentle, and kind-loving soul. He will be greatly missed. 

John is survived by his partner of 17 years, Rita Martinez, his children Tealeye Cornejo, Theasha Cornejo-Gonzales, Ira Cornejo, Shane, grandkids Ivette, Steven, Gabriel, JessieRae, Jerry, and Marisa and step grandchild David, as well as his numerous and extended family members.

Interment will be held the 16th of September 2022, 3:00 PM at Santa Barbara Cemetery: 901 Channel Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93108.


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