Jonathan Richard Bixby, 72, a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday November 6, 2022.
He was surrounded by family and friends at the time of passing. He suffered from a rare brain disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
He was born on August 26, 1950 in Los Angeles, the son of John Richard Bixby and Alice Patricia Bixby. Jonathan was the oldest of four children.
Jonathan lived all his life in California. After graduating high school in 1968, he attended UCSC and graduated with a BA in Psychology.
He then taught grammar school for five years before moving back to Santa Barbara for good.
Jonathan found his real passion – dancing- in high school. During this time he met his longtime dance partner, Sylvia Sykes.
They would go on to be known as “Jonathan and Sylvia”, and together
They took the Southern California Lindy Hop and Balboa scenes by storm.
They danced on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, learned from the greats of the swing dance world, competed for decades all around the world, and became a part of Santa Barbara’s fabric by bringing the joy of swing dancing to thousands through their dance troupe and popular dance classes from 1979 into the new millennium.
During this time, he also worked at the family business, The Fireside Mart, for a few years, but he loved nothing more than dancing and teaching, especially in his beloved Carrillo Ballroom until the beginning of the Covid Pandemic.
Jonathan’s parents preceded him in death. Jonathan is survived by his siblings Mary Bixby of Beaverton, Oregon, Steve Bixby (Teresa) of Grangeville, Idaho, and Susan Bixby Congleton Moore, (Chris) of Perry, Utah and 9 nieces and nephews, and his beloved cats (“girls”), Louise and Lucy.
There will be a private memorial for Jonathan, invite only, remon Saturday November 19, 2022.