Donald George Sharpe (1936 – 2024)

Donald (Don) George Sharpe (Courtesy)

Donald (Don) George Sharpe passed away on February 10, 2024, in his home in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was surrounded with love by his wife (Kay), daughters (Cindy, Whitney, and Meagan), and his beloved dog (some might call her the fourth daughter, Daisy).

Don lived a full life. He was born in Eagle Rock, California, to Johnston Sharpe and Ruth Yaeger on October 24, 1936. Don had many passions in life, including his family, classic European cars, drawing, and design. His interest in drawing, mixed with his spirit of perfectionism, led to a degree in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1960, followed by a successful career as a prominent Southern California architect and real estate developer based in Santa Barbara.

His talent and passion for city planning and preservation led to involvement on many local boards and volunteer groups, including (but certainly not limited to) the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the City of Santa Barbara’s Architectural Board of Review and Historic Landmarks Commission, The Santa Barbara Conservancy, and the Montecito Board of Architectural Review. In 2015, Don was awarded the prestigious Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award for his dedication to preservation and conservation in the Santa Barbara community.

Don was also active in the three Homeowners Associations for the communities in which he lived part-time including Santa Barbara, Fort Collins (Colorado), and Pine Mountain Club (California). And we can’t forget his involvement in the Santa Barbara Prime Time Band as a tuba player, having participated in many “Tuba Christmas” performances!

Don is survived by his wife, Kay, his seven children, twelve grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Don married Margaret (Margie) Benbury in 1958 and they had five children together: Douglas, Steven, Michael, Peter, and Cynthia. Don met his second wife, Kay Whitney, in 1983 and the two were lovingly married for 40 years, only separated at Don’s death. Don and Kay have two daughters, Whitney and Meagan.

If you ask his wife, his children, or his colleagues in the architectural field, Don was a well-loved, respected, and insightful man. He was a man of God and knew that he was headed to Heaven upon leaving this world. He leaves a giant hole in our hearts and his memory will be cherished forever.

A celebration of life will be held later this year in Santa Barbara, California. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

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