Wayne Steele Elkin passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara, California, on May 26, 2013. He was born February 12, 1924, in Hots Springs, Arkansas, to Olive and Walter Elkin. He had a younger brother, “Gib,” and an older sister, Elaine, who are all now deceased.
Wayne was raised at various Army posts, settling in Santa Barbara in 1940 when his father was assigned to Hoff Army General Hospital. Shortly after graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps and served with the Eighth Air Force in England, participating in the massive bombing raids over Germany. On his 10th mission he was shot down, captured, and remained a POW in Germany during the latter part of the war.
Following the war he attended UC Santa Barbara under the G.I. Bill of Rights. It was during that time that he met the love of his life, the lovely Martha Chard, a seventh-generation Santa Barbarian. (If there ever was a match made in Heaven it was theirs, as they adored each other). They were married June 3, 1950.
Only three weeks after their wedding, the Korean War broke out and he returned to military service with the Air Force. He remained on active duty as a regular officer with the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War years and Martha assumed the role in life as a military wife. They had two children, Wayne Jr. and Carmen, both born at military facilities. Martha made a home wherever they were assigned, but would return to Santa Barbara with the children whenever dependent travel was not authorized, e.g. Vietnam, Arctic duty, etc. After 26 years of active duty and service in three wars, Wayne retired from the Air Force and returned to Santa Barbara permanently.
For the next 15 years he worked in real estate locally. In 1988, he quit real estate, and he and Martha enjoyed 15 wonderful years of full retirement. They particularly enjoyed family gatherings, grandparenting, ball-room dancing and traveling.
In 2003 after a 53-year blissful marriage, Martha passed away. Although he chose to live independently, Wayne maintained close contact with everyone in the family, and was always part of every family gathering.
He is survived by his son, Wayne Elkin Jr. (Wendy) and granddaughter Genevieve Khosrowmanesh (Kasraa), all of Mill Valley California; his granddaughter, Courtney Mohler (George), and great granddaughter, Violet, all of San Jose, California; and his daughter, Carmen Finck (Bill), and grandchildren Brian, Jeannette and Michelle Finck all of Santa Barbara, California.
Contributions may be made in Wayne’s memory to St. Raphael Church or to the Santa Barbara Nurse/Hospice Association.