Eugene David Yossem, 86, passed away in Santa Barbara on Dec. 21, 2022. Born in St Louis, Missouri on Feb. 11, 1936, David moved to Salinas, California, as a young boy.
Upon graduation from San Jose State University in 1957, he enrolled in Naval Officer Candidate School. David served 20 years on active and reserve duty and earned the rank of commander.
He moved to Santa Barbara in 1962 where he met his wife of 54 years, Susan Moore Yossem.
Post active duty, David began a career in financial services. Early on he sold life insurance, and was instrumental in shaping the California Life Agent designation. He also served as president of the California Association of Life Underwriters.
After many years, David wanted to provide more well-rounded support for his clients. He studied for and passed the CFP exam to become a financial planner.
David created E. David Yossem, Inc., a wealth management firm, and in 1983 expanded his firm with his nephew, Steven Weintraub, into West Coast Financial, which continues as a successful fee-based wealth management firm today.
David officially retired from West Coast Financial in 2011, but continued to be involved with the firm for many more years.
David consistently sought ways to give back to the Santa Barbara community. In the 1960s, he participated in the I Built the Zoo-ers group of volunteers to develop the Child’s Estate into what is better known as the Santa Barbara Zoo.
David volunteered his time to help build the children’s train tracks that encircle the zoo.
During this time, he was also involved with the Santa Barbara Junior Chamber of Commerce, serving as president for one year. Later, he spent many years supporting the boards of the American Heart Association and the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation.
He was also an adopted Gaucho, where he supported both the men’s and women’s basketball programs at UC Santa Barbara, sometimes traveling with the team and attending practices.
Small in stature, but mighty in his toughness, David was an avid tennis player and golfer. He was a one-time club champion in tennis at La Cumbre County Club. He shared his love of the game with his kids and grandkids.
As his knees started to trouble him, David migrated to golf which quickly became a passion. He could be seen at La Cumbre Country Club every day, practicing or playing 18 holes on the golf course he loved. David enjoyed many years of friendship and camaraderie at La Cumbre.
Another passion was photography, so much that he built a dark room in his home. His home is filled with his own photographs of people and places from all over the world.
He also loved to fly fish, though he would always throw back the fish. As he would say, he was “exercising” the fish.
David is survived by his wife, Susan Yossem of Santa Barbara; son Paul Yossem and daughter-in-law Lisa “d2” Yossem of San Diego; and his son-in-law Osbourne Guy of Santa Barbara.
David is predeceased by his daughter Elizabeth Yossem-Guy, who passed away in 2014 of cancer. He is also survived by four grandchildren Zenzele and Jahzara Yossem-Guy of Santa Barbara, and Maddux and Camdyn Yossem of San Diego; as well as his sister Dolores Hirson of Santa Barbara.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation in his honor. A memorial service will be held at a later date.