SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara is mourning the loss of a community patriarch. NewsChannel 3 learned longtime resident Larry Crandell passed away Tuesday afternoon.
We are told, he was surrounded by family at a local assisted living facility. Crandell wore numerous hats and was well known to locals as "Mr. Santa Barbara" and "The Unofficial Mayor of Santa Barbara."
If there was a public event, luncheon or fundraiser chances are, Larry was there.
An in-depth article published in the Huffington Post detailed Larry's life, from his childhood during the Great Depression, his college basketball days, and his Purple Heart honor during World War 2.
Larry Crandell was 93-years old.
His son Steven Crandell wrote about his father's life in a book entitled Silver Tongue: Secrets of Mr. Santa Barbara.
Crandell born in April of 1923 in Newark, New Jersey raised his family in Montecito.
His friend Jack Nadel said, "Larry Crandell was Mr. Santa Barbara, as he loved the city and Santa Barbara loved him. Larry gave generously of his time and had a dry wit that we will now call Crandellisms."
His friend Byron Elton said, "Like the town he loved so much, Larry was #1. Best MC, best fundraiser, best friend and father. He made everyone he met feel better about themselves. We love him and know he has taken his talents to a bigger audience."
Crandell was honored for his generosity and is one of a handful that graces the wall of Unity Shoppe.
" He lived a big life and giving of yourself like that is really rare. A lot of us give a little bit, to constantly give to people you don't even know that is extraordinary," said Unity Shoppe founder Barbara Tellefson.
Senior reporter John Palminteri who is also known for emceeing events said, "We are all sad about Larry's death but no one will ever match Larry Crandell's generosity to this community, ability with wit and charm and grace and humor, the ability to shake down a room for money and all the fundraising he did he was our Bob Hope."
Memorial services have not been announced.