Peoples’ Self-Help Housing cordially invites the public to the dedication of the Jonny Wallis Memorial Tree at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at Armitos Park in Goleta (take South Kellogg off Hollister Avenue and turn south on Armitos Drive).
Peoples’ founder Jeanette Duncan will officiate the dedication.
Light refreshments will be served following at Peoples’ Villa la Esperanza Apartments nearby at 131 South Kellogg Ave.
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing dedicated a tree in memory of the late Wallis (1946-2013).
She was a dedicated advocate for affordable housing in Goleta. The Coast Live Oak tree, which was grown from an acorn collected at Kellogg Ranch along San Jose Creek, was planted by Goleta Valley Beautiful. The tree was given a little time to settle while special irrigation was added by the city. City crews also installed the plaque, which has been beautifully mounted onto a large stone.
Wallis, born in Bakersfield on April 14, 1946, died at her home of 45 years in Old Town Goleta on Nov. 3, 2013. She departed life as she lived it — with steady courage and determination.
She graduated from Mission Central Catholic High School in San Luis Obispo. She attended Santa Barbara City College and graduated from UCSB with degrees in English and political science. She completed her law degree at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1980.
A founding member of GoletaNow! and a proponent of cityhood for Goleta, she was elected to the first city council in 2001 and re-elected in 2004. She served as mayor in 2006. From 2009 to 2013 she served on the Goleta City Planning Commission.
Prior to her work on cityhood, she chaired the Goleta Old Town Project Area Committee, encouraging all segments of the community to participate in the development of the Old Town revitalization plan. Other public service included the County of Santa Barbara Park Commission, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, and BEACON. She was named Goleta Woman of the Year in 2001.
She is survived by her spouse, Catherine "Kitty" Bednar; niece Leslie Stephens of Goleta; nephew David Stephens of Atlanta, Ga.; and their families.
Peoples' Self-Help Housing provides affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors and other special-needs groups on California's Central Coast. PSHH has developed and now manages more than 1,500 affordable rental units in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. It has also provided first-time homeownership opportunities for 1,200 working families. PSHH is the leading affordable housing developer on the Central Coast with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
For more information on the dedication or Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, contact fund development director Rochelle Rose at [email protected] or 805.699.7227.
— Rochelle Rose is the fund development director for Peoples' Self-Help Housing.