Elizabeth Hughes Smith

Obituary
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10/13/22 - 7/13/14

Santa Barbara was home to Elizabeth wherever she lived. She moved here as a young woman, married and raised her two daughters here. She began her life in Western Springs, Illinois. Her parents had emigrated from England two years before her birth. The family moved from the Chicago area to Los Angeles when she was 13 years old and, except for brief stints in Arizona and Texas, she was a California girl from then on. Her adventures took her to many cities world-wide, but Santa Barbara was always in her heart.

Elizabeth always said that her favorite job was as the Executive Assistant to Paul Veblen, then the Assistant Publisher of The Santa Barbara News Press, in the late 1950's and early 1960's. She was working there when Paul Veblen and Editor, Thomas M. Storke wrote a series of articles on the John Birch Society. The newspaper was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1962 for their scathing expose. She loved the creative excitement that surrounded her in that environment. Through her job, she enjoyed press passes to many local events and activities. She especially loved Old Spanish Days and was asking about this year's schedule of events only days before she died. She hated to miss any of it.

Elizabeth spent her final years in San Pedro. She lived in a home on a hill with a spectacular view of the busy harbor below. She could tell you about many of the ships that came and went. She was intellectually curious and loved trains, boats and planes. Travel was a passion of hers. On a European cruise, she met her gentleman friend, Piet Maaskant from Rotterdam, Holland. They took many trips together, where he showed her the sights overseas and he made a number of trips to California where she delighted in showing him many of her favorite places, including Santa Barbara. They became quite good at staying in touch through Skype.

Elizabeth is survived by her daughter, Catherine Sims and her husband Tom Sims, her granddaughter Jenna Herre and her husband, Bob and her granddaughter Caitlin Freeman and her husband, James. She was preceded in death by her husband Wilburn Smith, her daughter Claudia "Samantha" Hughes Hopper and her grandson Kevin Hughes. She will be greatly missed.


Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Aug. 17 to Aug. 21, 2014