At the age of 99, Sylvester Lechuga died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Feb. 27, 2023. He was born in Santa Barbara on Dec. 31, 1923 to his parents Simon and Asarision (Del Gado) Lechuga.
Sylvester was a young boy when his mother passed away, and he went to live with his aunt and uncle. Sylvester joined his uncle Ventura Camacho farming, and it became his lifelong passion. He farmed many areas throughout the Goleta Valley and Santa Barbara County.
In the 1940s, Sylvester and his uncle established the Green Stand, selling local produce.
Sylvester met Margarita Cuevas when he was growing up as a young boy; their families were friends, and Sylvester and Margarita eventually married in December 1952.
With his family by his side, Sylvester continued to operate the Green Stand until the mid-1970s. Many friends still talk of the memories they have working for him.
He closed his business in the mid-1970s and was hired by Sunburst Sanctuary to become their teacher of agriculture for the young members who lived there. In the mid-1980s, he left Sunburst and became the foreman for George Cavalleto avocado farms where he worked until 1991.
Sylvester returned to work part-time with Sunburst to open a new farm in Buellton. He eventually retired, spending his days at home in his garden.
He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years Margarita Lechuga (Cuevas); he was father to Lawrence (deceased), Richard (Laura) of Orcutt, Mark (Clare) of Paso Robles, Sylvia Cosby (John) of Lompoc, Jim (Jennifer) of Montecito, and Kathy Harrison (Craig) of Santa Barbara. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Sylvester is the Lechuga patriarch, and will be remembered by all who loved him for being and easy going, wise, hard worker, kind and great man.
Services will be Saturday, March 18 at St. Raphael’s Church, 5444 Hollister Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m., Mass is at 10 a.m., with burial following at Calvary Cemetery, 199 N. Hope Ave., Santa Barbara.