William Allen Wood

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

1941 – 2022

William Allen Wood passed away peacefully at home in Mission Canyon on Friday, October 28th, 2022 after a short, but fierce battle with lymphoma. Born in Santa Barbara in 1941 William spent his life loving Santa Barbara as a true ‘home boy’. In 1957 he was the fourth generation of his family to graduate from Santa Barbara High, after which he met a smart and beautiful UCSB freshman, Barbara Stinson and fell in love. After traveling in Europe together and losing their house in the Coyote Fire, Barbara and William built a new home, planting hundreds of trees to restore the Painted Cave landscape ravaged by the fire. Ascribing to beatnik values they raised their two daughters, Cricket and Zoë in their one room mountain home nestled against a rock accompanied by goats, chickens, donkeys, ponies, cats, dogs, fish and the natural world that surrounded them. William loved fresh orange juice from their citrus trees, working hard, being a member of the Painted Cave mountain community and engaging in silly antics to get a giggle out of the neighborhood children. He dug a swimming pond with his backhoe for his family to cool off in on hot summer days which brought joy to the neighborhood and is where his daughters learned to swim.

Always an artist, William worked in wood and stone and restored buildings to express his wabi-sabi/ California arts and craft movement style. He looked to nature as his primary muse and believed everything could be recycled and saved and if put in the right place, be beautiful. His cactus gardens had hidden crystals and his wood shop had silly dolls crammed in with R. Crumb comics and Buddist figurines alongside every tool imaginable. There was almost no building task he wasn’t willing to tackle, including beautifully renovating an 1890’s house almost crumbling to the touch. He loved Santa Barbara history, memorabilia and imagery, and regaled his family with stories of his father and grandfather running the earliest car dealership on State Street and his great uncle working in the Potter Hotel and the early film industry of SB. He always had a story about the nooks and crannies of Santa Barbara and loved his hometown. William fondly recalled watching from his childhood home on A.P.S. the steam train chuffing into Santa Barbara and maintained a lifelong love of train sets, vehicles and engines in general. This love spanned working on his various hot rods in his mother, Elizabeth’s driveway during high school to tinkering with the family car (1936 Chevy) and a 1964 Triumph motorcycle he shared with Barbara before finding the joy of an e-bike as an older man. He cherished his friends and had an active social life, whether at the Coral Casino as a child, or as an enthusiastic member of E. Clampus Vitus 1.5 and the Santa Barbara Westerners historical society in his later years. He took up yoga at the age of 65, and was a devoted attendee of Iyengar Yoga.

William (Bopa to his five grandchildren) is survived by his loving wife Barbara Wood, oldest daughter Cricket Wood, her husband Paul Muhl and their three children Kai, Tavi and Rylee Muhlwood and his youngest daughter Zoë Wood, her husband Demian Barnett and their two children Winslow and Quincy Barnwood. He is also survived by his loving brother Vince Wood and his wife Judy and their children and grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held 11/27, contact his family for details. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice or the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.


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