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Posted on June 10, 2013 | 11:56 p.m.

Alex Brumbaugh of Santa Barbara, 1942-2013

Source: Susan Frascella

Alex G. Brumbaugh died May 29, 2013, in the comfort of his home, in the loving care of his companion of nine years, Susan Frascella, and surrounded by his loved ones.

Alex Brumbaugh
Alex Brumbaugh

Born and raised in Klamath Falls, Ore., the only child of Sheldon and Catherine Brumbaugh, Alex loved to reminisce about his childhood as a “county boy” in Klamath Falls riding his horse, Duchess, and creating adventures, real and imagined, with neighboring children.

Alex’s parents were sophisticated. His father, who died suddenly when Alex was 5 years old, was an architect in the school of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his mother was a professional photographer and gifted watercolorist. The dichotomy played out in his life: He was a creative man of letters who loved the open road and country music.

Alex left Klamath Falls after a brief teenage marriage that gave him his first child, Tamela (Mack). He subsequently settled in San Francisco and married Nancy, the mother of his daughters Heidi (Kent) and Gretchen (Kvistad). Alex and his family moved to Colorado, where he attended Colorado State College, earning a bachelor of arts degree in American history in 1967. Returning to California, Alex taught American history at Monterey High School from 1967 to 1979.

There then followed several dark years immersed in alcoholism until he achieved sobriety in 1993 at Santa Barbara New House. Later, he married Laurie Avila, who died in 2003.

In the ensuing years, Alex continued to dedicate himself to the alcohol and drug addiction recovery community as the director of Project Recovery (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction) and wrote two books, Transformation and Recovery (1994) and The Praxis of Recovery (upcoming, 2013).

Surviving Alex are Susan Frascella; his daughters, Tamela, Heidi and Gretchen; stepdaughters Aimee Avila, Kristin, Sarah and Maria Frascella, and Nina Lafuente; grandchildren Mira and Tisa Kent, Joey and Charley Harrison, Arielle Lafuente, Diego Galindo, Lucia and Leonardo Frascella Vigna; his dear friends Mark Sherwood and Steve Pearce; and many more loving friends and admirers.

A memorial gathering was held on June 2.

Alex’s family is grateful for the services of Dr. Margaret Ray, the Cottage Hospital “T-suite” staff and Visiting Nurses and Hospice. Please make donations in honor of Alex to Santa Barbara New House, 2434 Bath St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.


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