F. George Kammer
F. (Florian) George Kammer passed away peacefully on October 22, 2022. He was 97 years old.
George was born in Queens, New York, on July 21, 1925, to Josephine and Frank Kammer. He grew up in Ridgewood and Middle Village with his brother and two sisters. His father was an entrepreneur working in trucking and manufacturing.
In 1944, George enlisted in the Navy to serve his country during World War II. As an Electrician’s Mate Third Class he was stationed on board a wood-hulled YMS-class minesweeper. While shipping out to the Pacific, George journeyed through the Panama Canal, along the coast of Mexico, to Southern California. On shore leave in California, George, along with a few crew mates, visited the small city of Santa Barbara. George fell in love with the city and its temperate weather, vowing to return.
At war’s end, and stationed in Hawaii, George took some classes at the University of Hawaii.
After his discharge from the navy, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at the State University of New York, College of Forestry at Syracuse University; he was the first in his family to earn a degree.
During his undergraduate years, George worked two summers in the office of landscape architects Darling, Innocenti & Webel in New York. His supervisors, recognizing his exceptional talent, encouraged his application to Harvard. Earning a full scholarship for his innovative design ideas, George graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 1954.
For the next three years, George worked in Manhattan at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as a Site Planner-Landscape Architect. This being Manhattan in the 1950s, George was able to take advantage of frequent sojourns to art galleries and avant-garde happenings, sparking his life-long interest in art and antiques. George married Paula Mauro on April 22, 1957, and the couple moved to California on their wedding day.
Returning to Santa Barbara, the city he fell in love with, George began his career as a planner in the Santa Barbara County Planning Department. He was promoted to Senior Planner in 1958. George worked on the original Santa Barbara County General Plan, eventually serving as Chief of the Comprehensive Planning Division. He retired from the County in 1981.
After retirement, George took the opportunity to explore his love of art and antiques, working for a time at Peregrine Galleries on Brinkerhoff Avenue. George took great pleasure in searching for treasured items, and enjoyed making that one-of-a-kind find. George had a wonderful sense of humor, and liked to joke with others; he delighted in joyful bantering with people he would meet, as well as with family and friends. He liked to travel, especially to explore the art and architecture of Italy.
George is survived by his children Anna Kammer (Dan Fallorina), John Kammer, Regina Kammer (Jason Munkres), and grandchildren Calia and Weston Kammer. George will be interred at the Santa Barbara Mission mausoleum.
Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation: https://www.sbthp.org/