Carol Luce

Obituary of Carol Sherwood Luce

Carol Sherwood Luce went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, December 3, 2023, after a short but devastating illness.

She was born September 3, 1937, in Fullerton, CA to Lyman Daniel and Blanche Inez (Sawyer) Sherwood. She joined older siblings, Horton, Bonnie, Sally, and Harriet and grew up on an orange grove on Chapman Avenue. 


Carol's sweet mother died when Carol was just thirteen. She later called this the darkest time of her life but her faith and love for music carried her through. In 1955, Carol graduated from Fullerton Union High School and moved to Santa Barbara to attend Westmont College, making many lifelong friends. Upon graduating from Westmont in 1959, Carol worked as a secretary at Berkeley Presbyterian Church. There, through the ministry of Dr. Bob Munger, Carol learned that being a Christian was not just intellectually believing, but having a personal relationship with Jesus, made possible by His death and resurrection. Carol had faith in God from a very young age and her faith grew into lifelong devotion. 


In the early 60's, Carol returned to school at San Francisco State and subsequently earned a teaching credential. She firmly believed "the richest child is poor without musical training" and from 1966 to 1998, she taught stringed instruments and orchestra in the San Mateo/Foster City Elementary School District. During these thirty plus years, Carol was actively involved in church music ministries, singles groups and choirs. She also loved playing her cello in community orchestras, playing tennis, and traveling across the U.S. and internationally. 


In 1999, at her 40th college reunion, she became reacquainted with Benny Luce, a retired and widowed fellow Westmont graduate. After a long-distance relationship of two and a half years, they married in 2002 in Menlo Park. In 2011, Carol and Benny returned to Santa Barbara to reside at Samarkand Senior Living. They shared a love of music ministry; together they revived the Samarkand choir and Carol loved serving as its director until she became ill.


Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Lyman and Blanche Sherwood, her brother Horton and sister Sally. She is survived by her husband, Benny Luce, of Santa Barbara; sisters, Bonnie Clampitt of Corona and Harriet (Chuck) Siewert of Caldwell, ID; her chosen children, David Luce, Kathy (Glenn) Williams, Karen (Jim) Pelonis and Kim (Richard) White. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.


The family would like to thank the staff of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Samarkand staff, Assisted Hospice and Carol's many friends for their kindness to and care for her over these last difficult weeks. 

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Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
The Sanmarkand
2550 Treasure Drive
Santa Barbara, California, United States
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