Alice Kladnik died quietly at home on April 26, 2012, at the age of 105, surrounded by her family.
During her 67 years as a Santa Barbara resident, Kladnik immersed herself in volunteer activities until she retired at the age of 103. Organizations that benefited from her efforts include CALM, Parent Child Workshops, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, American Field Service, Pink Lady and the Center for Successful Aging, and baking countless cookies and cupcakes for the PTA while her three children were in grade school.
Besides volunteering, Kladnik worked for 30 years as a secretary research assistant for UCSB. She also edited and typed scores of manuscripts for celebrated local authors and academics, including Ken Millar (Ross McDonald), Margot Benary Isbert, Immanuel Hsu, Harry Girvetz, Robert Easton and Margaret Millar.
She was deeply involved with environmental issues, wildlife conservation, travel and cultural activities, as her interests were broad. Within these circles she drew many close friends, people of all ages who have stayed in touch and mourn her passing.
Born July 9, 1906, in Holly, Mich., and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., she was the first Wisconsin state junior women’s tennis champion and Wisconsin state women’s champion twice.
A founding member of the Santa Barbara Tennis Club, Kladnik played well into her 95th year. She asked that if this were noted to say, “It was only because I had patient partners and I’d like them to know!”
An avid reader, education was of great importance to Kladnik her whole life. Per her wishes, she has donated her body to UCLA for medical research, giving still even after she is gone. Not able to pursue a medical degree due to the Great Depression, she finally made it to medical school at the age of 105!
Kladnik is survived by her devoted husband of 73 years, George Kladnik; children George “Corky” Kladnik of Flagstaff, Ariz., Sandra Kladnik of Lake County, Calif., and Mary Kladnik of Los Alamos; grandchildren Rob Moser and Laura Moser of Flagstaff, Ariz., Krista Taner of Santa Barbara, Jennifer Siegel of Madison, Wis., and Tiffany Chambers-Goldberg of Los Angeles; great-grandchildren James and Samantha Moser-Hampshire, Alexandra and Ryan Taner, and Maisy Blue Chambers-Goldberg; and cousins, Elizabeth Alger, M.D., of Westfield, N.J., and Clement “Bud” Miner Jr. of Owosso, Mich.
A celebration of life will be held at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara from 1 to 4 p.m. May 20. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to CALM and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara in Kladnik’s name.