Georgetta (Graham) Craviotto
Georgetta (Graham) Craviotto

Georgetta was born on Aug. 17, 1924, in Queen of Angel’s Hospital, Los Angeles, the daughter of Howard Graham and Ursula (Maloney) Graham. 

She attended St. Ignatius Catholic High School in Highland Park, and in her junior year, after her father was tragically killed while painting L.A.’s downtown bus station, she relocated to Santa Barbara to live with her aunt and uncle, Irene (Graham) O’Gorman and Walter O’Gorman, manager of the Lei Lani Room at the Californian Hotel.

Graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1943, she first worked at the Barbara Hotel before taking a job at Lyons Van & Storage.

It was after the war, when walking home on her lunch breaks every day, that she passed Craviotto Brothers Ironworks, where a darkly handsome veteran G.I. always seemed to be polishing his car to attract her attention.

It worked. Georgetta married Charlie Craviotto on July 31, 1949, and they had 55 years together, until his passing in 2004. They were blessed with two children, Darlene and Jim; two grandchildren, Josh Levien and Katie (Levien) Babineau; and a great-grandson, Stokely Olivier Levien. 

Georgetta was kind-hearted and generous, with a loving touch for babies, animals, and anyone in need. She was a strong woman who never shied away from hard work.

She loved her garden and single-handedly landscaped her 3/4 of an acre, lugging wheelbarrows of rocks by herself, rocks so heavy that her father-in-law, a man who spent a lifetime lifting heavy iron, quit after lugging only several loads, remarking to his son, “You’ve got a strong woman there!”

Born a Leo and proud of it, Georgetta had the will of a lioness and the strength to back it up. She answered to many names: Georgetta, Mom, Getta, Molly Malone on March 17, and George when Dad would say, “George, get me a beer!”

She loved her family, enjoyed cooking, and baking the many dozens of her amazing Christmas cookies; reading “her novels” was a passion, celebrating St. Paddy’s Day made her smile.

She was famous for her wicked mai-tais, and See’s Candy was never far from her reach (nuts and chews, along with those incredible chocolate suckers).

In addition to her children, grandchildren and great-grandson, she leaves behind a sister-in-law, Carmen Arguedas Craviotto; nieces, Eileen Craviotto (Velasco), Cathleen Craviotto, and their families; nephews, Dan Craviotto (Carol), John Craviotto (Lori) and their families; Marcella Craviotto, and the rest of the Craviotto extended family here in Santa Barbara and afar.

Also, a niece Nancy Graham Walper and two other nephews, Tony Graham, and Gary Graham (Shirley) and his family. Georgetta also leaves behind her son-in-law Philip Levien, along with her granddaughter-in-law Simone (Wyrick) Levien, and her grandson-in-law Jason Babineau.

Our gratitude to Rosemarie Harris, Bill and Julie McGeever of Heritage House and all of its compassionate staff of caregivers, and to Assisted Hospice Care for their tenderness and understanding. And also a thank you to Maricela Cardona for always being there for Mom.

A special thanks to Livia Ortega, mom’s personal caregiver whose loving support these past few years was a constant source of comfort to mom during a difficult stage in her life.

We will miss Getta’s spirit, her passion, her wit, her tenacity, her glorious red hair and those smiling Irish eyes.

Sometimes life is a wheelbarrow of rocks, but you’ve got to just keep moving it along. Thanks for teaching us, Mom.

A celebration of Georgetta’s life, in lieu of a rosary, will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at McDermott Crockett Mortuary Chapel, 2020 Chapala St., Santa Barbara. Funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 14, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 21 E. Sola St., Santa Barbara.

Flowers can be sent to the mortuary or church, or in lieu of flowers, please remember The Alzheimer’s Association to promote research for Lewy body dementia.

Arrangements by McDermott Crockett.