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Community members celebrate the life of Hal Conklin

Former Santa Barbara Mayor and environmental pioneer remembered
Hal Conklin Celebration of Life
Tracy Lehr

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -A former mayor and environmental leader is being remembered by family, friends and community members as a man who made a difference in Santa Barbara and the nation.

Conklin was 75 when he died of brain cancer at the Serenity House in May.

Thanks to the easing of COVID19 restrictions people were able to mingle at the Old Mission Santa Barbara and share their memories.

Friends said Conklin liked to be in charge and planned every minute of the celebration of life on the steps of the Mission where he was interred in the mausoleum.

Conklin was one of the founders of the Community Environmental Council after the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill.

His friends said he soon started recycling in Santa Barbara and then took his recycling ideas all the way to the White House.

Even the program had a QR code to prevent waste. It included a photo of Conklin meeting the Queen of England during her visit to Santa Barbara.

"He really helped make Santa Barbara the home that we are really proud to say is our home," said Laura Capps who spoke during the memorial.

Conklin left his mark on everything from Stearns Wharf to the Granada Theatre.

His oldest son Nate said, "My dad loved this town. We loved growing up in Santa Barbara. There is a memory around every corner."

The crowd took part in a "Hal Yes" cheer. "Hal Yes" was one of Conkin's winning campaign slogans.

Bishop Matt Whitehead said, "He lived his life with a sense of call and mission, that is why it is so appropriate that we are here for this service."

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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