Kenneth Orrin Minor

Date of Birth

July 24, 1938

Date of Death

September 6, 2022

Kenneth O. Minor passed away peacefully, at home with his family on September 6, 2022. He lived a full life, following Jesus and loving others. He led by example and shared life lessons. In his last days, he told us this story:

“Write the word ‘kitchen’,” Lloyd Orton said to 15 year old Ken Minor. And these four words changed the course of Ken’s life. “How many times in your life can you recollect four words having such impact?” Ken would ask his friends.

Mr. Orton, a man from church, was so impressed by Ken’s block print, popular among architects, that he went on to ask Ken to draw up some plans for a house. And although Ken ultimately failed at this project, he later became a successful architect, designing for over 40 years, providing architectural and planning services in many different types of work, from small additions and remodels to major commercial projects.

Orton later got Ken his very first job, as a draftsman. When one of Ken’s friends commented on the importance of seeing potential and investing in a teenager’s life, Ken nodded and said, “That’s my point.”

Ken went on to marry the one love of his life, Loretta, and they had a gentle and kind marriage of 63 years. Together, they navigated through life, leaning on each other and trusting God. Loretta supported Ken while he attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo from 1959 to 1963.

But over the years, his career was more than successful. This wasn’t how Ken measured the worth of a man, though. He believed in being kind to strangers, loving his family well, investing in the lives of others, often those that society had written off. He would see the potential in another, nurture and encourage it until that person would come to know and believe in their own strengths and worthiness. In turn, those friends would walk away a more complete person.

After his career in architecture, Ken focused on his hobby of woodworking and boat making. As a boatwright, he was precise and exacting, turning humble pieces of wood into a beautiful masterpiece. He saw the potential. His beautiful wooden sailboat, Morning Song, started as an idea in 1989 and eventually launched at the Santa Barbara Harbor in 2016, surrounded by family and friends from all over the world.

Ken was known all over town and was loved and respected for his quiet, contemplative presence, thoughtfulness, and great kindness. As a young dad, his smile was often under wraps, closed mouth and quiet. When he became Gramps, his smile opened up and often ended with a laugh. Toward the end of his life, that big toothy smile and deep hearty chuckle had been given freely and easily to his family and many friends.

After his diagnosis, Ken decided he wasn’t going to “fight cancer”. Anyone who knew his true character, knew he wasn’t one for a fight. Instead, he lived with cancer, savoring time with those he loved. And in the end he even learned to “two-step” to maneuver about. After 84 years of life, he finally learned to dance.

Ken modeled godliness for his family, showing us that everyone is important and worthy of love, attention and care. He lived every aspect of his life unto the Lord and he was humble in his successes, giving glory to God the Father. He made sacrifices so his daughters, Donna and Teresa, could have music lessons and go to summer camp. He made time for his grandkids, Joshua, Jacob, Jessica, Harrison and Christine, and their projects. He always saved some bacon or turkey for his good dog, Charlie. He taught us to love God, love others and love nature.

He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta and his two daughters and their families:

Daughter Donna and son-in-law Gregory Venzor
Grandson Joshua and his wife Colleen Venzor, baby due January 2023 (great grandbaby)
Grandson Jacob and his wife Fatima Venzor
Granddaughter Christine Venzor

Daughter Teresa and son-in-law David Thornburgh
Granddaughter Jessica and her husband Stephen Ramirez, son Riley Fox (great grandson)
Grandson Harrison and his wife Linda Thornburgh, son Felix Luna (great grandson)

We’ll be gathering at Coast Community Church on Saturday, September 24, for one last “Coffee at Renaud’s” followed by a brief service of praise and worship to the God who now holds our beloved.

Coast Community Church
4973 Via Los Santos
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

10:00 Coffee catered by Renaud’s
11:00 Service immediately following

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ken’s honor to one of the following:

Coast Community Church Student Ministry
Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
Texas Land Conservancy
Westmont College Music Fund
VNA Health


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.