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Posted on January 15, 2013 | 5:24 p.m.

Betty Stearns Alexander of Santa Barbara, 1919-2013

Source: McDermott-Crockett Mortuary

Betty Stearns Alexander was called home to be with her Lord on Jan. 10, 2013. She was born Aug. 9, 1919, in Oakland, the only child of Lelia (Griffin) and Glenn Warwick Stearns.

Betty Stearns Alexander
Betty Stearns Alexander

Betty loved school, was an excellent student and fulfilled her childhood dream of attending Stanford University. Later, at the University of California at Berkley, Betty pursued her passion for literature and fine art, and was an active member of the literary community there.

During the war, Betty married her first husband, Richard Baldwin, and gave birth to her first son, Jeffrey.

Following the war, she married William Alexander and they settled in Los Angeles, where their son and daughter, Dana and Nancy, were born. Bill worked briefly for the Signal Oil Company, but the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1953, where Bill pioneered the condominium concept, building Santa Barbara’s first condominium project.

Betty was an active supporter of her husband’s business and provided many ideas for the design, floor plans and aesthetics of his projects.

Betty was a very productive member of the Santa Barbara community. She served on the Westmont College Women’s Auxiliary with Westmont’s founder, Ruth Kerr, was a beloved volunteer with County Mental Health, and worked as a literacy tutor in the Learning Center at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

Betty was an active Christian woman. She was a well-respected Bible teacher and wrote her own curriculum. To this day, her Bible studies are being used in the United States and overseas. She taught in-home women’s Bible studies well in to her 80s, and her passion for the Bible and people had a life-changing impact on many of her students. Her commitment to God and people was evidenced by her active involvement with Calvary Baptist Church, Montecito Covenant (as a founding member) and, lastly, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, where she very much valued the pastoral care of the Rev. Harold Bussel.

Betty’s lifelong love of literature and the arts informed her daily life. She shared this passion with her children and grandchildren by introducing them to symphonic music, fine art and the theater, thus providing life-changing experiences for each of them. Her love of beauty was evident in every aspect of her life — her house, garden and her personal presence.

Betty was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, a passionate Christian and devoted teacher. She was generous with her time and resources, possessing the remarkable ability to love people and encourage them to reach their God-given potential.

When asked what she was most grateful for, she said it is for salvation “that God picked me out even when I wasn’t seeking him.”

Betty is survived by her husband of 46 years, William of Santa Barbara, her son Jeffery (wife Terri) of Versailles Ky., son Dana (wife Dorothy) of Santa Barbara, and her daughter Nancy Simpson (husband Arthur) of Ventura. She has seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Betty and her family are grateful for the remarkable tender loving care and excellence of the Valle Verde staff and the wonderful, supportive care of Assisted Hospice.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

A celebration of Betty’s life will be held at 1p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, 1455 E. Valley Road in Santa Barbara. Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.


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