Obituary of Lori Ann Kari
Lori Ann Kari, architect, sailor and friend to everyone she met, passed away peacefully on July 16th in her Santa Barbara home after a brief illness. She was 62.
Lori grew up in the Valley and moved to Santa Barbara in the late ’70’s to attend UCSB and graduated in 1983 in Geography. She went on to study Architecture and passed her boards a few years later. She worked for several local firms, Design Arc and Bob Easton Design before opening her an office in 1991 with her good friend and fellow architect Valerie Froscher. She paid great attention to detail with her clients and build long-lasting relationship. Lori was a generous community builder and volunteer. She served on the boards of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara (AFSB), Santa Barbara Beautiful and the Santa Barbara Bowl.
At AFSB she was one of the early visionaries to create the Scholarship programs and the SFSB Scholarship Reception where they honored student recipients. Lori was also a strong supporter of the Kids Draw Architecture Program.
Lori became an avid gardener over the years, designing gardens with great care and enthusiasm. She shared this talent with her close friend Charlene Pidgeon and they frequently visited Lotusland for inspiration. Lori had a great eye for color, texture and scale. As a board member of Santa Barbara Beautiful she served on the Horticulture Committee and the annual awards program.
In the early ’80’s Lori expanded her love of sailing by joining an all women crew of her close friends. She raced on Jane Watkins’ J/24 SHE BOP in the SBYC Wet Wednesday Series as well as many women’s regattas. Lori was a talented and enthusiastic sailor and enjoyed the spirit and camaraderie of the sport and the many friends she made in the sailing community over four decades.
Another of Lori’s great loves was the concerts at the County Bowl and she volunteered there often and eventually became a member of the board. She has been on the board for 22 years; served on the Facilities Committee and worked on the Masterplan helping to guide the many construction phases of the Bowl.
Lori loved to travel and revisited Germany, Italy and Switzerland several times. She was a great hiker and always up for an adventure. She took many trips with girlfriends from Ojai to Puerto Rico and to Colorado to visit her “Steamboat Sista’s”. She also loved beach walks with her companion Bill Bench and their Australian Shepard Meka.
Lori leaves behind so many friends who will miss her dearly. Her smile could light up a room. Her parents passed away in her younger years. She is survived by her companion Bill Bench of Santa Barbara, her sister Heidi and niece Jeanette of Germany and her beloved dog Meka.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Lori and the Santa Barbara Yacht Club on August 6th from 3 to 5.
Contact janewatkinsSB@gmail for further information.
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