Joan Liecty Jennings
Joan Liecty Jennings passed away peacefully in her home on March 8, 2018 after a long and fulfilling life. She had recently celebrated her ninetieth birthday.
Joanie, as she was fondly known, was born on August 15, 1927 in Oakland, CA and spent most of her life in Montecito and Santa Barbara. She attended Santa Barbara High School, where she met her husband Allen Jennings, longtime owner of Valley Motors, The Valley Car Wash and later, Jennings Auto-Marine. Joan was an organizer extraordinaire who helped plan SBHS reunions for more than seventy years, keeping friends connected and maintaining many lifelong friendships. She attended Arizona State University before marrying Allen, her high school sweetheart in 1948.
Joan was an active member of the community, often attending City Council meetings and regularly expressing her opinions through letters to the editor. Never one to hold back on sharing her opinions, she was an active participant at many local meetings regarding preservation of Santa Barbara history and culture, and the support and safety of young children. She spent most of her life volunteering in the community, beginning with "Bundles for Brittain" supporting the war effort in the early 1940's. In 1952 Joan contracted tuberculosis, and upon her recovery, she and another survivor formed a support group at the Sansum Clinic for victims of the disease. Her passion for history and politics led her to volunteer at the voting polls and to host candidates in her home supporting the campaigns for her candidate of choice. Joan was involved with the Moderate Republican Majority group and the Republican GALS club but had recently cut ties with the Republican party.
She was on the founding board of CALM - Child Abuse Listening Mediation, an organization whose mission is to prevent childhood trauma, heal children and their families and to build resilient communities. Joan also volunteered with the Santa Barbara Film Council to write movie reviews for publication in the Santa Barbara News-Press in an effort to provide parents with information regarding "appropriate" movies for children. She enjoyed serving for many years as a "pink lady" at Cottage Hospital and was very active for almost thirty years in the local school district, serving several terms as PTA president and holding various PTA Board positions.
For the last twenty years, Joan has been most active in the Laguna Cottages, serving as president for five years. She enjoyed playing bridge, reading books, and completing crossword puzzles as well as being a part of the Vistas Lifelong Learning program, the Westerners club, hosting family events and spending time with her many grandchildren.
Mrs. Jennings is survived by her four children; Craig and Terry Jennings of Frederick, CO, Gordon and Kristin Jennings of Prescott, AZ, Blair and Dianna Jennings of Santa Barbara, and Kay and Joe Smith of Morristown, NJ; her brother Derek Liecty of Walnut Creek, CA and fourteen grand children and 15 great-grandchildren.
Joan will be laid to rest in a private ceremony on April 21, 2018 next to her husband Allen, in the Santa Barbara Cemetery between the harbor and mountains of Montecito, which she so loved. In lieu of flowers, those interested are asked to donate to the Laguna Cottages of Santa Barbara, a non-profit organization providing housing for low-income seniors, 803 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.