NameDeborah C. SPALDING
Birth13 Nov 1921, Los Angeles Co., California63
Death4 Mar 2011, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., California
FatherSilsby Morse SPALDING (1886-1949)
Notes for Deborah C. SPALDING
Santa Barbara News-Press, Santa Barbara California
PELISSERO, Deborah Spalding
November 13, 1921-March 4, 2011

Deborah Spalding Pelissero was born in Los Angeles to the late Silsby M. and Caroline C. SPALDING. She was four years old when the family moved to Tecolote Ranch (now Rancho Embarcadero) north of Goleta.

Deborah attended the Santa Barbara Girls' School during her elementary school years. In 1934 she went to Heathfield School in Ascot, outside of London. Then followed a year at Tucson's Hacienda del Sol and a year at Eversley near Southampton. She graduated from Santa Barbara Girls' School in 1938, the same year she began her decades-long affiliation with the Junior League of Santa Barbara. She would serve as its president and later, on the national stage, as director of the League's Region XII.

After entering Stanford University in January 1940, she completed a four-year journalism major in three years, simultaneously fulfilling her Junior League placement requirement (and also war volunteer service) by serving in the Palo Alto Motor Corps, reaching the rank of lieutenant and missing overseas service only because of her youth. Deborah landed a city-side reporting post with the San Francisco Chronicle where she covered her own June 1943 Stanford graduation because she believed "getting the story" was more important than a brief appearance in cap and gown. She was a member of Theta Sigma Phi, national journalism society for women.

Following her stint at the Chronicle, she took a public relations post with the San Francisco Symphony. In the spring of 1945, she met her future husband, Godwin J. Pelissero — also a Stanford and Chronicle alumnus. After marrying in May 1946, they returned to Tecolote Ranch where they began to raise a family while Deborah plunged into myriad community service activities.

Among her extensive board memberships and presidencies, Deborah helped organize the Tri-Counties Blood Bank; presided as president of the Canfield Scholarship Foundation of Los Angeles named for her maternal grandfather, Charles A. Canfield; the Los Angeles Philharmonic-Santa Barbara chapter; the Santa Barbara Historical Society and the Music Academy of the West. The Advertising Club of Santa Barbara named her "Woman of the Year" in 1967.

In later years, Deborah and Godwin discovered the delights of traveling with Stanford groups to Egypt, Greece and the Danube as well as sailing by freighter to exotic ports throughout the world. Maui was their second home.

Deborah is survived by her husband of 64 years, her daughter Candace Pelissero (Brian Larsen), sons Silsby (Connie) and Godwin Jr. (Rebecca), stepdaughter Ellen and grandson Charles.

She requested no memorial service, but in lieu of flowers, contributions to the Search Dog Foundation, 501 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai, California 93023 — are welcomed. Her ashes will be shared between Santa Barbara and upcountry Maui.
Last Modified 27 Jul 2011Created 17 Jan 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh