Helen Elizabeth Locke Haskell

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By an edhat reader

Helen Elizabeth Locke Haskell passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends on February 28, 2018 after a brief illness. Helen was born in Los Angeles, California on February 17, 1930, the daughter of Edmond Locke and Elizabeth Brown Locke; she had two siblings Robinson Locke and Barbara Locke McComber.

Helen's family moved to Arcadia where she graduated from Anoakia High-School in 1948. Idyllic summers were spent in Hawaii as her grandmother had settled in Oahu in the early 1930's, making it a multi-generational gathering place. After a short stint at California College of the Arts, Helen married Melville Hanna Haskell Jr. and they lived in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Kaiserslautern, Germany as Mel completed his medical training. They settled in Santa Barbara arriving in 1959 when Mel joined the Santa Barbara Medical Clinic. They had four daughters together: Sally Haskell, Keri Haskell-Starbuck, Hanna Haskell and Mary Haskell.

Helen lent her time to several Santa Barbara charities and served on several boards. She was a trustee at the Santa Barbara Child's Estate Zoo since its inception in the early 60's and took pride in her involvement with the zoo's first elephant adoptions. Helen was recently honored for her 50-years of service on the board of Laguna Cottages Senior Housing, providing affordable apartments and independent living for Santa Barbara county seniors. She was also a long-time member of the Santa Barbara chapter of the Garden Club of America where she developed many lifelong friendships. She was active and athletic her whole life and according to legend singlehandedly broke in her horse "Blackie" as a teen. She was a decades-long member of La Cumbre Country Club where she enjoyed playing golf and tennis throughout most of her life, and she was an avid swimmer up until her final year. In her last decade she dined at the club nearly every Sunday in the company of dear friends.

Helen was a fixture within her beloved Santa Barbara community where she proudly and independently lived in the same house for 53 years, extending an open invitation to friends and visitors alike who entered through the always-unlocked backdoor. Her life spanned an extraordinary time in history, and she always seemed to know her place in it. Her family line on both sides were founders and pioneers with distinguished and storied histories. Her great-grandparents were pioneers in Santa Paula, her grandfather an adventurer in Peru and early founder of Beverly Hills, her other grandparents were founders of Balboa, and her grandmother an early citizen of Hawaii as it gained statehood. Helen's parents continued this pioneering legacy through lucrative and farsighted investments in land and entrepreneurial business ventures.  

Helen's generous smile and heartfelt laughter belied a steadfast demeanor and unyielding strength; she was not one to mince words or spare advice when necessary. She remained a loyal supporter to her friends through good times and bad, a bedrock in the lives of the many who will sorely miss her. With her passing so passes an entire chapter in Santa Barbara's history, the daughter, grand-daughter, mother and friend whose earthly journey now completed shall forever live on in our hearts and souls.

A memorial will be held on May 12th, from 11:00-2:00 at La Cumbre Country Club. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be sent in her memory to Laguna Cottages, 803 Laguna Street, SB 93101.

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