Jerry Dean Springer: August 05, 1935 – May 12, 2024

By Montecito Journal   |   June 4, 2024
Jerry “Shorebreak” Springer is now bodysurfing in the Great Beyond

Jerry Dean Springer, 88, beloved husband of Julia, father to Kurt, Jill, and Amy, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2024, at Serenity House in Santa Barbara. 

Born in Reeve Township, Iowa, the fourth of six children, Jerry attended many different schools before finally settling in Carpinteria in middle school. After his itinerant childhood during the Great Depression, Jerry was happy to finally put down roots in Carpinteria.

He attended Carpinteria High School, where he was Student Body President, lettered in 11 varsity sports, and was awarded a lifetime pass to Carpinteria sporting events. After high school, he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years with a football scholarship, and then transferred to Santa Barbara City College. After being drafted into the army for two years Jerry returned to complete his degree in physical education at UCSB while working as head lifeguard at Carpinteria State Beach Park.

He met his wife, Julia, in Summerland in the summer of 1961 and they were married in 1962. They lived in La Canada/Flintridge where Jerry coached Pop Warner football and taught and coached at Mark Kepel High School in Alhambra. But he missed the waves and the beach and returned to Carpinteria in 1968, finally settling in Montecito/Summerland for 45 years, living his final years at Valle Verde Life Plan Community.

Jerry loved the ocean and was an avid, world champion (in his age group) bodysurfer. Physical fitness and the ocean were his passions. He went bodysurfing at the Ventura South Jetty almost daily and entered many bodysurfing competitions up and down the State. He was a founding member of the South Jetty Swells Bodysurfing Association, a nonprofit that provides education and clinics for young people of all backgrounds and skill sets. 

Jerry and his bodysurfing pals, who nicknamed him “Shorebreak” Springer, traveled annually to Mexico, Ecuador, or most often Costa Rica for two-week surfing safaris and met frequently for coffee to exchange wave stories. 

Jerry exercised religiously at the Montecito YMCA up until the pandemic closed the Y, serving on the Board of Directors there in the ‘80s. He also served on the board of Girls Inc. in Carpinteria and Casa Dorinda in Montecito.

He and his wife, Julia, were partners in SCB Associates, a financial services business, for 30 years, retiring in 2000. Jerry was very active in his industry’s professional organization, receiving many awards, and was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to serve on a state commission regulating the debt collection industry.

After retirement Jerry volunteered at Direct Relief International for 10 years, packing and filling care packages to send all over the world. 

Though a classic Californian, Jerry never lost the calm, even temperament of his native Iowa. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, a caring employer and friend. Above all, he had a positive, can-do, optimistic attitude. His ever-cheerful nature drew people to him and kept them as lifelong friends. He will be sorely missed.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Julia, son Kurt (Ana), his daughters Jill (Simon) and Amy (Zeb) and grandchildren Sam, Elizabeth, Rhys, Henry, Sofia, his brothers Carl, Don, and Robert and sister, Joyce White.

Tax-deductible memorial donations can be made to Planned Parenthood California Central Coast (518 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 or or to the South Jetty Swells Bodysurfing Association (14845 Camino Cielo Ojai, CA 93023).

There are no immediate plans for a memorial service.

Jerry is now bodysurfing in the Great Beyond, free from his health problems. May he forever catch the best breaks and surf eternal waves.  


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