Alice Mae Velasco passed away quietly at her home on July 30, 2014. She was 81.

An accomplished artist, cook and bridge player, Alice Mae Velasco was happiest doting on her large family.

An accomplished artist, cook and bridge player, Alice Mae Velasco was happiest doting on her large family.

Alice was born Alice Mae Byrnes on July 20, 1933, in Tucson, Arizona, and moved to Los Angeles when she was 4 years old. After graduating from an all-girls’ Catholic high school in 1952, Alice attended El Camino College, where she met her future husband, Bruce Velasco. She received an associate’s degree in Art and turned down an offering of admission from UCLA to follow her sense of adventure and become a stewardess for Western Airlines.

Alice and Bruce married in 1956 at the Church of The Transfiguration in Los Angeles. They purchased land in Goleta in 1957, and after five years of planning, designing and taking evening architecture classes on the side, the couple built their dream home together.

Along with being a doting wife and a mother to eight children, Alice was an adventurer at heart and traveled the world to far-off places like New Zealand, Japan and Egypt. She never let a day go by without exploring all that life had to offer, and she was as calm and observant as she was energetic and full of life.

Alice was an extremely talented artist, a master of the art of watercolor and she loved to work in many different mediums. Her work is showcased throughout her friends’ and family’s houses, and has been on display in an array of Santa Barbara galleries.

She was also a wonderful cook, known to create signature spins on traditional recipes. She constantly explored foreign dishes and new tastes, and she reveled in the kitchen cooking for her large family, whom she loved dearly.

Always learning, Alice continued to enhance her artistic skills through adult education courses. A member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Club, she spent countless hours devoting her time and energy to serving her community. She was an ongoing companion of the Santa Barbara Elks Caravaneers and loved to play bridge, a game in which she proved herself a formidable opponent.

Alice will be missed by all. Her nurturing tendencies, kind smile and helpful words have touched the lives of everyone she encountered. Although there is sorrow in her departure, Alice may now experience the joy of reuniting with her beloved daughter, Susan Velasco.

Alice is survived by her husband, Bruce Velasco; by her children, Jill Salie, Teresa Bannon, Jerry Velasco, Frank Velasco, Linda Rinehart, Tom Velasco and John Velasco; and by her 15 grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.

A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, with a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, 5444 Hollister Ave in Goleta. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, 199 N. Hope Ave. in Santa Barbara, followed by a reception in Alice’s honor.

Memorial contributions to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, are graciously appreciated.

Arrangements are entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.