‘He was a seeker’: Former SB Mayor Hal Conklin dies at 75

By Nick Masuda   |   May 22, 2021
Former Santa Barbara Mayor Hal Conklin, second from right, passed away at the age of 75. (photo by Priscilla)

The Santa Barbara community is mourning the loss of Hal Conklin, the city’s former mayor and a beloved community activist for decades up and down the South Coast.

The former Santa Barbara City Councilman (1977-1993) and environmental influencer was 75.

Since September 2020 he had braved an uphill fight against brain cancer.

Conklin’s passing was one of mourning and reflection for the Capps family — one that shared the political spotlight with the former mayor with Lois Capps serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (24th District) and Laura Capps is currently a trustee with the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

“Our hearts are heavy with the passing of our long-time family friend, Hal Conklin, yet we are buoyed by the inspiration of such a life lived so fully, graciously, and spiritually grounded. We love Hal because he was a seeker. His inquisitive, hopeful, and open mind and heart led him to foster connections, build community, and be guided by compassion,” the statement read.

“His activism spanned from his early days in Santa Barbara when he arrived to be a part of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, through his visionary leadership of so many organizations including the Community Environmental Council, the League of Cities and Common Table Foundation as well as his decades of passionate stewardship of our city that continued until the end.

“Hal Conklin is synonymous with the spirit of Santa Barbara — which will live on. Over the last several months he was humbled by the incredible care he received and the loving companionship of his wife and family. We are blessed to have counted on Hal as a true friend and we are better people because of his grace.”

Stay tuned for more reaction from Conklin’s passing.


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