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Posted on December 23, 2017 | 2:01 p.m.

Mona Carrillo Curtiss of Santa Barbara, 1931-2017

Source: Julie Bates

Mona Carrillo Curtiss
Mona Carrillo Curtiss

Mona Carrillo Curtiss passed away peacefully in her sleep at Cottage Hospital, Dec. 14, 2017.

Mona was born to Mildred (Lindner) Carrillo and Orlando Carrillo in Camarillo, Calif., May 17, 1931.

A lifelong resident of Santa Barbara, Mona was a descendant of Santa Barbara's historic Carrillo family. She grew up on Grand Avenue with her mother Mildred, her grandmother Julia Lindner, and her sister Sonia.

As a youth, Mona volunteered at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The time Mona spent at the museum with her mentor Mrs. Cooke helped to deepen her great love of nature.

Mona graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1949. Her deep compassion for people led her to a nursing career. After graduating high school, Mona attended Knapp Nursing Academy.

She spent her career working as a nurse at The Dos Pueblos Convalescent Center in Goleta.

Mona married Kip Chase and together they had four children, Stephen, Julia, Peter and Mike. After Mona and Kip divorced, Mona raised her children as a single mom in the beloved family home in the San Marcos Trout Club, in the foothills of Santa Barbara.

Mona loved people, animals and flowers, not necessarily in that order. Mona lived the credo, mi casa es su casa. The doors to the family home in the Trout Club were open to all. Mona took in strays, humans and animals.

At one time or another, each of Mona's children had friends living on the property. If there was not enough room inside the sprawling dwelling, beds were placed in the yard. An outdoor shower was available. No one went hungry.

The house was also home to many pets. A menagerie of dogs, cats, hamsters, a pet rat, pigeons, blue jays, snakes and lizards all found comfortable refuge in the family home.

During middle age, Mona married David Curtiss. Mona and David loved road trips. One of their favorite destinations was Washington state, where her oldest son Stephen lived with his family.

Another place  Mona loved to visit was Hawaii,  where her son Peter had built a home.

Tragically, the family home in the Trout Club burned to the ground during the 1990 Painted Cave Fire. Mona moved in with her son Peter, who was living on The Kinivan Ranch. Later, Mona moved into the Laguna Cottages.

Mona made many friends at her new home. She lived at The Laguna Cottages for 18 years before she passed away. Mona left behind her beloved cat, Ella. Ella has been adopted by Mona's granddaughter Savannah.

Mona's friendliness and kind heart will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have known this wonderful person.

Mona's family would like to extend a special thanks to her caregivers, Victoria and Irma, the Santa Barbara Cancer Center, also to folks at the Wound Center in Goleta.

Mona was preceded in death by her mother Mildred Carrillo, her husband David Curtiss and her nephew Jon Sandstrom.

Mona is survived by her sister and best friend Sonia Sandstrom and four children, Stephen Chase (Debra) of Longview,  Wa., Julie Bates (Bill) of Santa Barbara, Peter Chase (Lisa) of Santa Barbara, Mike Chase and Susan Lauwers of Santa Barbara; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grand children, as well as nieces and nephews.

A memorial is planned for spring. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

— Julie Bates


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