Willa Mann – The Santa Barbara Independent

Willa Mann passed away on April 30, 2022, after a two-year battle with cystic fibrosis. She was 80 years old.

Willa was born and raised in San Francisco, California, a place that nurtured her love for ballet, classical music and art. San Francisco is also where she met her 55-year-old husband, Thomas, and where they had two daughters, Kari and Wendy. Willa and her family moved to Southern California in 1974 and to Santa Barbara in 2003.

After working various jobs while raising their daughters, Willa’s thirst for knowledge drove her back to school at age 52. At 58, Willa had earned her master’s degree in geography and started teaching part-time at Long Beach State. She also taught online at Columbia College in Missouri.

Willa loved to learn, but nothing gave her more joy than her grandchildren. She loved to hear about anything that interested them and was their biggest cheerleader. Willa was also an animal lover and an avid reader. She was known to read aloud to Tom while he painted so they could share books together.

Willa was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 78, which made breathing a daily struggle. She adhered to a strict program of respiratory treatments without any complaints. Her husband Tom was by her side taking care of her every step of the way.

Willa is survived by her husband Tom, her daughter Kari Mann (Kevin Tolley), her daughter Wendy Kaufmann (Eric), her grandchildren Loren, Charlie and Logan and her brother Robert Andrews.

The family would like to thank Dr Belkin and the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, Dr Yim and the nurses at Cottage Hospital and Serenity House.

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