My loving mother, Marilyn Joyce Mepham Ghens, passed away after a long illness on Feb. 13, 2020 at Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara. I miss her so, her devotion to family, her love for animals and children, her sense of beauty. I treasure the memories of our times together.
A lifelong Catholic, Marilyn often attended mass at the Santa Barbara Mission. Born in 1940 in Long Beach, her family moved to Santa Barbara in 1951.
Her father, George Mepham (1906-2007), was a plumber who built a family home in Samarkand, where he lived with Marilyn's loving mother, Lucille (Panchiere) Mepham (1907-1993), a jazz pianist.
My Mom graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1958 where she was known for her love for the ocean, water skiing, and softball.
In college at San Jose State University, my Mom conceived me with classmate Warren Ghens. As chronicled in the book "The Girls Who Went Away," 80 percent of children of single mothers at that time were put up for adoption. At a maternity home, my Mom worked hard cleaning many a floor and swallowed her pride to make the case to keep me. My parents were briefly married. Mom lived most of her life in the family home with her parents; all three of them raised me.
Mom later graduated from UCSB in business economics and earned her law degree from Santa Barbara College of Law. Marilyn, an only child herself, stood by her own parents through their illnesses at the end of life. She was a loving woman.
I invite friends and family to join me for my Mom's graveside service at Santa Barbara Cemetery Association Mausoleum in the Pines on Thurs, Feb. 27, 11 a.m.