Elizabeth (Betty) Webb Woodworth

Date of Birth

August 17, 1921

Date of Death

February 20, 2023

Elizabeth (Betty) Webb Woodworth died of natural causes on February 20, 2023 in Santa Barbara. She was born  on August 17, 1921 in Hamden, Connecticut to Anne Pinkney Webb and Paul Webb. She was the fifth of six children. Betty attended a junior college in Connecticut and later earned her Bachelor degree from the University of Chicago in Library Science. In 1939 Betty met the love of her life, Stanley Woodworth and they married in 1943. They welcomed their first son, Stephen, in 1945, while Stan was attending Japanese Language school in Oklahoma. In 1948 the family moved to California where Stan became a language teacher at Cate School in Carpinteria, which was home to Betty for 68 years.

The family grew in number to five children. Betty became actively involved in the Junior League and the Music Academy of the West. In 1957 Cate School hired Betty as its first school librarian, a role she loved and the initial source of her legacy on the Cate mesa. She was an avid hiker, tennis player, and loved to play Scrabble or Backgammon, as well as engage in social interactions, and cooking gourmet feasts.

Betty and Stan lived in many countries with their family, as their sabbaticals allowed them to live in France, Spain, Italy and Greece. As a result, they made some close and enduring international friendships, in particular the Leredu family in Paris. Stan died in 1989, on Bastille, Day. His life was cut short too soon but it was a  life full of shared adventures. 

Betty took up lawn bowling and played for almost 30 years. She was a regular volunteer at the Carpinteria Historical museum. She was always up for traveling opportunities. She became Cate School’s archivist after retiring from being the librarian, and was a fierce champion for preserving the history of the school and its traditions. After serving for 48 years she  retired and from then until she left the mesa, at the age of 96, she was the unofficial hostess at a variety of events at the school. She was loved and admired by many at the school, both by staff and students. Among the students especially close to Betty  was their Turkish Exchange student, Haluk Topaloglu,  who has remained in constant contact for 50 years.

In 2016 Betty left the mesa to live in assisted living quarters in Santa Barbara. She maintained her interest in activities and games and especially music. She was 101 when she died peacefully and she was surrounded by family love and laughter and joy the last week of her life. Betty will be missed by all who knew her. She will be remembered for her kind and welcoming spirit.

Betty is survived by her five children; Stephen Davis Woodworth (Robin), Peter Webb Woodworth (Beverley), Susan Slade Johnston, Anne Allcott Parkford, and Elizabeth Ives Hansen (Brooks). In addition she is survived and loved by twelve grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Stanley Davis Woodworth, her parents, Paul and Anne Webb, her brothers, Peter Webb and Charles Webb, and her sisters Mary Webb, Helen Mulvey, and Anne Haas.

Betty nourished people around her with love and kindness. A Celebration of Life will be held at Cate School Chapel on June 4, 2023 at 10:30 AM, with reception to follow. There will be a memorial mass for Betty at St Joseph’s Catholic Chapel  (Ash & 7th St., Carpinteria) on March 18, 2023 at 11:30 AM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betty’s honor to the Woodworth Family Music Fund at Cate School (cate.org/donate), or to Hospice of Santa Barbara (hospiceofsb.org) 805-563-8820


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