Elizabeth Meinzer passed away at Cottage Hospital at the age of 89 on Aug. 5, 2023.
Liz was an amazing woman with an adventurous spirit. She was born in 1933 and spent her childhood in a small town near Stuttgart, Germany.
She spent her childhood working in the family restaurant business in her small town and experienced growing up in war torn Germany during World War II.
Liz told amazing stories of growing up with bombs dropping on her town, and American fighters flying overhead as she rode her bike to school. After the war, Liz, the teenager, was hungry to see the world and was ready to experience what it had to offer.
Liz decided to immigrate to Canada to work as an au pair for a couple to help raise their children. She ultimately found work at the German consulate in Alberta, Canada, as her elegant demeanor and her rapid-fire typing skills landed her the job.
In Alberta, she met a handsome young ambitious German by the name of Ted Meinzer, who came from a small town only a half hour from her own.
They had a simple marriage in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had their first daughter Ellen in Alberta. The couple decided to move back to her husband’s hometown so Ted could attend art school.
It was in Germany that their son Mark was born. This was now the early 1960s when the world was enchanted by John and Jackie Kennedy’s Camelot. Both Ted and Liz were inspired by the leadership of President John F. Kennedy and the promises of freedom in the U.S.
With $1,000 in the bank and two young children in tow, Ted and Liz moved to Santa Barbara in the early 1960s, where a good friend offered a job, in what they called a beautiful small city near the Pacific Ocean that reminded them of Spain.
Ted went from painting pictures in art school to painting houses in the quickly growing town of Santa Barbara, while Liz was busy with their two young children. Their third child Stephanie was born in Santa Barbara a short few years later.
Liz acquired her real estate license to support her husband and to help build the family’s real estate business in the 1970s. Ted and Liz worked hard to help buy and sell houses for the young families moving to Santa Barbara in the 1970s and 1980s.
After raising their three children, sadly Ted passed away at the early ago of 58. Liz was quick to stand on her own two feet, and confidently took over the real estate business they had built together.
She also was able to enjoy her close friends and to travel in her later years. She took great joy in her growing family, as her children had children of their own. Liz’s greatest joy was her German family, her grandkids and great grand kids.
Liz’s life did slow down, as age took its toll on her mobility and health. She was well cared for by her caretakers in her home in Santa Barbara, and passed away on Saturday Aug. 5 at Cottage Hospital.
She is preceded in death by her husband Ted and her daughter Stephanie. She is survived by her daughter Ellen Simonson and her son Mark Meinzer along with his wife Michelle and her grandchildren Andrea Gardner, Jennifer Simonson, Nathan Meinzer, Gracie Meinzer , Lizzy Gardner, and Ashley Gardner.
She is also survived by her sister Ursula, and her niece and nephew in Germany.
In lieu of flowers, please support Ridley Tree Cancer Center, Serenity House, or ASAP Cats. Liz will be buried at Santa Barbara Cemetery in a small private burial with a memorial to follow in October.