Jo Anne Larkin
Jo Anne Larkin was an adventure seeker. She loved nature and the beauty of changing seasons. After facing a challenging experience with pancreatic cancer during the last year of her life, she passed away with beauty and grace within a few short days at Santa Barbara’s beautiful Serenity House on September 20th. Her daughter Lynne was lovingly by her side.
Jo Anne’s sweet kindness as well as her impish and mischievous grin will both be dearly remembered and sorely missed.
Jo Anne, whose parents preceded her death, was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Evelyn and Robert Larkin. She spent the majority of her childhood there. As a self-assigned leader of the pack, stories of a free-spirited, wild-child prankster filled with laughter, compassion, and joy are shared by many. It was said she was able to organize a neighborhood posse of children to participate in anything that had to do with fun, adventure, and mischief.
Jo Anne attended Mary Institute in St. Louis through high school. She remained connected to many people who first entered her life at that time. She then obtained her bachelor of arts degree from Briarcliffe College in New York before continuing her education in Switzerland.
After coming back to the states, she held a position in Washington DC as an assistant to Missouri Senator Stuart Symington who was a vocal critic of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. She shared many stories about that time in her life.
As an adventure seeker, she left Washington for the small community of Aspen, Colorado. She loved the Rocky Mountains and spent many hours skiing, hiking, and enjoying every minute of it. There she also participated in creating one of the first local recycling centers offering many hours of volunteer service.
It was during that time she met, Tom Harris her husband to be, and father of her future daughter Lynne Harris. They were married in a fun filled ceremony in Bermuda moving immediately back to St, Louis, and then eventually Santa Barbara.
After a brief marriage to Hector Rodriquez, a local radiologist, her primary focus became creating experiences for her daughter, pursuing her interest in volunteer work, and participating in art, music and social events.
Eventually she met and married Tony Mulac, a professor at UCSB. Tony, a wonderful, caring man, brought into the marriage his daughter, Sabrina, creating a blended family of four. This was another good chapter in her life that offered much traveling and family experiences.
Jo Anne then attended Pacificia Graduate Institute to obtain a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. During this time she participated as a counseling intern at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center a number of years. She worked relentlessly assisting many clients while supporting the agency in any way she could.
Jo Anne had a beautifully full life. She was greatly well read, carried with her a zest for learning, and was knowledgeable in many areas. She especially like T.S. Elliott
“This is one moment,
But know that another
Shall pierce you with
a sudden painful joy,”
Jo Anne is survived by her brother Robert (Bob) Larkin and her sister-in-law Amy Collins, her daughter Lynne Harris and her Son-in-law Christian Garfield, her grandchildren Ava, Wyatt and Bowie.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to Serenity House.