Patricia “Pat” Kruger

Date of Birth

April 10, 1934

Date of Death

March 21, 2023

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Patricia Kathryn (Pat) Kruger passed away peacefully on March 21, 2023. She leaves behind her loving family, friends and a lifetime of memories.

Pat was born on April 10, 1934 in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, to Carl and Bernice Rasey. The family made several trips to California, eventually arriving in the San Joaquin Valley in 1937. They lived in various farming towns including Stratford. She attended first grade at three different schools until the family finally settled in Moorpark in Ventura County. Her parents had three more children; Charles “Buddy”, Ronal and Mary Lee. Pat attended the rest of elementary/middle school there and then went to Moorpark High School. She was a star student and graduated Valedictorian. She briefly attended Ventura College but grew impatient with her father’s attempts to impose a curfew. The next day she decided to move to Los Angeles to look for work. She landed a job at the Phone Company in the directory department. It was in L.A, through a mutual friend, that she met Kenneth Kruger, a young architect with whom she developed an immediate connection. They shared a love for the arts and culture and especially enjoyed going to see foreign films together. Ken proposed and they were married August 19, 1955. They began their married life with a three month trip around Europe in their newly purchased Volkswagen Beetle. After returning home they settled down to living in Ventura. While there Pat worked for the Ventura County Star newspaper and took classes at Ventura College. The couple planned to live in Ventura and even bought land to build a house there. But after the sudden tragic death of Ken’s older brother, Tom, they decided to move to Ken’s home town of Santa Barbara. Ken set about establishing his architectural firm and Pat worked at Raytheon.

After renting an apartment on Castillo St, they eventually bought a lot at 1255 Ferrelo Rd that was situated on the hills of Riviera. They began building their home in 1961. In 1962 they had David and just in time the new family was move into the completed portion of their home. Their second child, Eric, came along in 1967. In 1977 Pat decided she wanted to work full time again. She began a career as the executive secretary at the Unitarian Church that lasted for 20 years. She ran their front office with sharp wit and a loving heart. She was a person with a strong social conscience and a sense of justice that was with her from an early age and lasted her whole life. The church was a perfect fit.

Pat loved her friends and considered them like family. She and Ken generously shared their beach house at Summerland over the years, hosting many parties and gatherings there. Many evenings were spent playing Scrabble with friends and family, sharing laughter and sarcastic banter.

The Krugers traveled extensively throughout the world traveling twice to China, once to Japan and various places in Europe, Canada and the United States. They particularly loved Yosemite and made annual trips there. Pat was always up for an adventure, loved seeing new places and meet different people.

Pat was an incredibly intelligent woman and an extremely avid reader. She loved a Tony Hillerman mystery as much as a Beatrix Potter story or a Jane Austen novel. She loved opera and often listened Saturday morning to performances of the Met while she followed along with her100 Greatest Operas books. She could tackle any crossword from the TV Guide to the New York Times. She was a wonderful cook and her enchiladas, spaghetti and christmas cookies were legendary. She sometimes had fantasies of being a flamenco dancer or a painter but only dabbled briefly in the latter. Perhaps in the next life, Mama.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ken Kruger and her brothers Buddy and Ronal. She is survived by her sons David (Toni) and Eric (Kim), her sister Mary Lee, and her grandchildren, Eva Marie, Dashiell, Joey, Ilsa and Emma, as well her sister in law, Sharon, nieces Lisa, Laura, Cathy and Lynn and nephew Larry. She also leaves behind several great nieces and nephews and her long time beloved friends that have been by her side through the last few challenging years. To have such wonderful friends you had to have been one and that Pat was. A celebration of Pat’s life will be held at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St. on April 8, 2023 at 1:00 pm. Donations in her name can be made to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Pacific Pride Foundation.


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