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Posted on December 7, 2017 | 12:30 a.m.

Sandra Garcia of Santa Barbara, 1945-2017

Source: Sandy Stinson

Sandra Garcia
Sandy Garcia

Sandra “Sandy” Kaye Garcia, 72, of Santa Barbara, Calif., passed away Nov. 27, 2017, at Serenity House after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Born Sept. 7, 1945, in New Orleans, La., to Katherine and Joseph Garcia, Sandy moved to Mexico City with her family at age 6 and resided there for 30 years. A graduate of the American School Foundation, she worked as a model and actress before attending Cal State Sacramento, receiving a degree in Spanish literature.

Sandy married Juan G. DeKruyff Sr. in 1991, and though the marriage later ended, their friendship never ceased. Sandy lived in Puerto Vallarta and Lake Tahoe before settling in Santa Barbara in 2005.

Fluent in all nuances of the Spanish language, she served with distinction as a certified interpreter for the courts, including her favorite, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, where a tree will be planted in her honor. For several years she also taught classes for the Lake Tahoe Community College Intensive Spanish Institute, including an annual Spanish slang class featuring curse words!

Sandy led an active, passionate life. Even while battling cancer, her friends had difficulty keeping up with her. She lived downtown and walked whenever possible. She loved film and was an active member of Cinema Society as well as the more underground group Film Addicts, film lovers who shared reviews of films at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Sandy often went to five or six movies a day during the 10-day festival. She held season tickets to the Lobero, the Pantages, Arts & Lectures, and was a member of the Santa Barbara Blues Society. A progressive, Sandy was quite active politically, and supported the Santa Barbara Environmental Defense Center and Planned Parenthood.

A lifelong learner, Sandy loved to travel. She recently participated in two multicountry study abroad voyages with Semester at Sea. She was a member of various book clubs, and although ill, she flew to Tennessee in August to view the total solar eclipse with friends.

Sandy is survived by her mother, Katherine Garcia, sister Patricia Garcia, niece Catherine Mattesich Taylor and nephew Rylan Mattesich, all of Sacramento; sister Lori Garcia in the Seattle area; and her stepchildren, Ann M. DeKruyff of Natick, Mass., Juan G. DeKruyff Jr. of Austin, Texas, and Susan E. (DeKruyff) Covarrubia of San Antonio, Texas. She also leaves a trail of friends too numerous to mention, who are spread across the globe.

A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 at Chase Palm Park Center. In lieu of flowers, the family and friends request that donations be made to Court Appointed Special Advocates at or 118 E. Figueroa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 in memory of Sandy Garcia. 


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