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Obituaries

o_ODea07050215.1 O'DEA , Brian Passed away unexpectedly May 16, 2015 at the Billings, Montana hospital. Brian was born in Santa Barbara at the St. Francis Hospital in 1959, an early Christmas gift for parents John and Marjory O'Dea and siblings Dennis, Kevin and Marian. Brian attended Washington Elementary, La Cumbre Junior High, and Santa Barbara High School. At Santa Barbara High he participated in sports including football and volleyball. While attending Santa Barbara City College, he was a Police Cadet with the City Police Department. Brian was often at East Beach playing volleyball among some of the best players of the sport, including his future wife Laura Eaton. In 1982 Brian and Laura were married at the Santa Barbara Mission. They completed their education at Fresno State University, working as summer seasonals in Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks. Upon graduation magna cum laude in 1985, Brian accepted a National Park Ranger position in Yellowstone where their two children Katie and Kristin were born a few years later. They thoroughly enjoyed their year-round life in Yellowstone's Northeast District, one of the most beautiful areas of the Park. Since birth Brian spent summers in Wyoming at Yellowstone NP where his father worked summer vacations as a National Park Ranger and at his mother's family Kumor Ranch near Buffalo, WY. Travel, Park and Ranch life experiences gave Brian an intense appreciation of being outdoors, caring about family and friends, and hard work. Brian loved his work with the Service which included wildlife management, emergency medical services, wildland/structural fire, law enforcement/investigations, and helping visitors both survive and enjoy Park resources and activities. Brian retired in 2010, moving back to Wyoming. He spent summers and fall there fishing and hunting with his brother and daughters; and winters with his father in Santa Barbara where he enjoyed the warm weather, growing a vegetable garden, spending time at the beach and Santa Barbara Lawn Bowls, and visiting family and friends. Brian is survived by his father John O'Dea of Santa Barbara; his daughters Kristin and Katie, and three grandchildren of Grass Valley, CA; his brother Dennis, sister Marian; and nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family and good friends throughout the country. Services will be held for Brian at the Holy Cross Church, 1740 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara at 11:00am on Wed. July 8, 2015; with informal gathering afterward at the church hall. Friends and family are encouraged to attend, and to share memories and pictures. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Brian's name to a nature/wildlife preservation organization or charity of your choice.