Dr. Charles E. Piper Jr.

Doctor Charles "Charlie" Piper died peacefully in his sleep at Serenity House on October 4, 2016 after a brief illness. He is remembered for his generosity, integrity, love of vegetable gardening, fishing, bee keeping, dogs, and witty humor.


Charlie was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 2, 1927. He attended Oakmont public schools, Shady Side Academy, and Allegheny College graduating in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He attended University of Pittsburgh Medical School from 1948 to 1952 followed by an internship at Allegheny General Hospital. He was admitted to surgical residency at the Mayo Clinic in 1953 through 1956 and also completed a preceptorship at Louisville Children's Hospital.


Charlie served as a Medical Officer in the Navy on the USS Burton Island during the Korean War and at San Diego Naval Hospital. 


Having experienced the fine weather of Southern California, he said goodbye to Pennsylvania and came to practice General Surgery in Santa Barbara with Drs. Ken Jennings and John Rydell at Pueblo Surgical Center. During his long surgical career he also practiced with Drs. George Wittenstein, Hewitt Lang and David Kolegraff. He was a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and the Priestley Society.


Charlie served several terms on the Hope School Board of Trustees and was a doctor on the Ranchero Vistadores Ride.


In his retirement years he enjoyed vegetable gardening, ocean fishing, Bonsai, and walking his dog "Oso" who really misses him.


He is survived by Judy, his wife of 53 years, and his two daughters Cynthia Heise (Brant) of Palos Verdes, Susan Nielsen (Erik) of Santa Barbara and four grandchildren: Keaton, Trevor, Piper and Carley.


A reception celebrating his life will be held on Sunday, October 16 from 2 to 4PM at The Santa Barbara Club.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care at 509 E. Montecito Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93111.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Santa Barbara News-Press from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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6 Entries
Charlie was a great doctor with a fantastic sense of human who is still greatly missed. He leaves a legacy of many lives enhanced and tons of laughter.
Joyce Lunt
October 5, 2019
Dear Judy, Words can not express our feelings at this time. Charlie Piper was a great surgeon, wonderful neighbor at Carriage Hill and someone with a wonderful sense of humor that could cheer you through a difficult medical issue. The world has lost someone with a tremendous heart and soul. Our thoughts are with you and the family, but know that he leaves a tremendous legacy behind in each of you.
Joyce & Leon Lunt
October 28, 2016
Dear Judy and family,
Charlie was a great addition to our dog park group, along with Oso. Charlie like to carry his hearing aides in his pockets and if he saw me at the park, he would immediately put them in his ears; otherwise, he would get the rath from me as I wear hearing aides! Charlie was so witty and would often cause a great deal of laughter with some word or two he would add to the conversation. We are truly saddened by his passing. Kind, loving thoughts to you all. Fondly, Carell and Monty Jantzen
October 13, 2016
Dr. Piper operated on my 6-month old son for a double hernia. To see his patient jumping almost out of the crib immediately following the surgery totally amazed the good doctor. "Never saw anything like it and probably never will," he said. Dr. Piper was a wonderful, kind surgeon and a great guy. My condolences to all of you.
Mary Fuller
Mary Fuller
October 12, 2016
Judy and family,
I was sorry to learn of Charlie's passing. He was a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Pat Zamos
October 10, 2016
Dear Judy,I worked with Dr. Piper in the OR on many occasions, always a gentleman, kind, caring, and a joy to work with. Condolences to you and yours. I was a student nurse at Cottage when he first came to town and worked at Cottage and Goleta O.R.s.
Peace be with you all.
Mary Lou Alderete Williams, R.N, ret.
mary lou Alderete Williams
October 9, 2016