Steve Pearce was born on February 29, 1944, outside of Hespler, Ontario in Canada, to Mary and Donald Pearce. In 1955, the Pearce family moved to a home on Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara, where Steve was able to ride his bike all around the open space of the Mesa, for at that time the area was sparsely developed, and where he played in the WWII bunkers located where the Mesa Shopping Center is today. His first job was at a nearby pharmacy where he swept up at the end of the day. By 1956, he was working at Santa Barbara Boat Rentals in the harbor. His intrigue with being on the water started at age six during a transatlantic voyage to Ireland, at age 12 he gained access to boats, and for over 3 decades he worked on the water.
People close to Steve often found comfort in his ability to listen. He could simplify the most complicated of situations in just a few words. Steve’s ability to hear and understand challenges presented by life, allowed for him to support many in our community when he worked as a counselor at Project Recovery, and Cottage Hospital.
Steve was well known for his accomplished conga drum playing. In his 20s and 30s, Steve could be found driving a Jaguar XKE with his congas lashed to the luggage rack. In his 40s he took up running and would run 10 miles each day. Steve took up bike riding in his 50s. He would ride from his Carpinteria home to UCSB and back when he took, as well as, taught classes there. His favorite loop was going to Ojai via Hwy 150 and returning along Hwy 1. An easy day was a ride up Gobernador Canyon.
Steve was rarely seen without a book within arm’s reach. Witty and subtle describes his humor. One could tell when he was up to something by the twinkle in his eye, a grin, or the slightest change in his tone of voice. He was kind. From his years living on the ocean, he was able to read the sky and predict what the weather would do in the next couple of hours, and days. He was pragmatic, and valued the power of the Universe.
His true delight in life was his wife, Judy. They had a deep and soulful connection, and were a dynamic balance, harmonizing each other. They shared a love of music (they knew how to cut a rug!), and they had a favorite campground in the eastern Sierras where they would sit, side by side, for a couple of weeks reading through the crates of books they took with them.
Steve unexpectedly passed away at home in Carpinteria on November 21, 2021. He is survived by his sister, Marny Pearce Smith; his daughter, Sara Killen; stepchildren: Kathy Gregory, Tom Polous, and Karen Latter; two grandchildren; six step-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild.