Dexter John Goodell

Date of Birth

August 30, 1938

Date of Death

November 5, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Due to recent weather related events, Dexter Goodell’s Celebration of Life scheduled for Saturday January 21, 12:30 p.m., has been relocated to:
La Cumbre Country Club
4015 Via Laguna
Santa Barbara, CA 93110

Dexter John Goodell, of Santa Barbara, California, passed away at Serenity House on November 5, 2022, after a brief battle with cancer. Upon hearing his diagnosis, he stated to his children, “You need to know that I have had a fantastic life!” He celebrated his 84th birthday this year and had recently enjoyed one last adventure to Maine and Canada with a group of his friends.

Dexter was born on August 30, 1938 to Percy and Esther Goodell in Harbor City, California. After graduating from Narbonne High School, he followed his brother Jerome to Santa Barbara, initially attending Santa Barbara City College. Dexter then transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara and received a degree in Economics in 1961.

During his time at U.C.S.B., Dexter met the great love of his life Erline Elkin. They married in 1961 and were later blessed with three children, Wendy, Delene, and Peter. Dexter and Erline shared a wonderful sense of adventure. From the early years of family camping trips, to traveling to the far corners of the globe, they certainly experienced much that this world has to offer.

After graduation, Dexter landed his first job selling insurance for Allstate, which enabled him to move back to Santa Barbara. Throughout the years, his many business ventures only served to deepen his connection to the Santa Barbara community. His ability to identify unique opportunities, coupled with his gregarious personality, were key in building the businesses that enabled him to provide for his family as well as those of his investors. In the 1990s, Dexter started Goodell Packing Corporation and was honored to serve numerous years on the Board of Directors of both Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company. In the early 2000s, Dexter “retired” and traveled extensively with his life-long love, Erline. After Erline’s passing in 2016, Dexter continued his exploration of the world with multiple trips domestically and abroad, with memorable weeks spent with “the crew” in Costa Rica!!

During his over sixty years in Santa Barbara, Dexter ran in numerous circles; the early days were spent at the “Y” with the handball players. He also enjoyed racing and the companionship of his Santa Barbara Yacht Club crew, achieving the role of Commodore in 1989. In his next chapter he enjoyed playing golf and cards with his friends at La Cumbre Country Club, where he served as President of the Club as well. Never one to sit idle, Dexter recently began playing bridge through the Santa Barbara Bridge Center.

Dexter was predeceased by Erline, his parents, and his brothers Bruce and Jerome. He is survived by his children Wendy, Delene, and Peter (& Laura), and by he and Erline’s eight grandchildren: Tanner, Austin, Erin, Parker, Elise, Allison, Travis, and Ames. As one of his grandkids stated, “Grandpa wasn’t just there for all of our activities, he was present for each of us and always there when we needed him most. He was a guiding force in all of our lives.”

We would like to thank Dexter’s caregivers and VNA Hospice for ensuring that Dexter’s final days were comfortable.

A Celebration of Dexter’s Life will be held on January 21st, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

Dexter and Erline supported the following local organizations and if you are interested, your support in their memory would be greatly appreciated:
– Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation – The Goodell Family Scholarship Fund –
– VNA Health Foundation –
– U.C.S.B Promise Scholars Engagement Fund –
– Santa Barbara Yacht Club Youth Foundation –


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