Van Triplett Bivans, 68, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2017, with his wife, Pam, and his family at his side, while traveling in Texas as part of their long dreamed of retirement plan of touring the country in their RV.
Van, born on March 23, 1949, in Newton, Mass. was the son of Ernest Bivans and Nan Burns as the middle child of three.
In his youth he was active in local theater, including plays at Santa Barbara Jr. High and at the Park Theater. He attended Santa Barbara High School, where he also performed in theater and choirs with a wonderful singing voice, and was a DJ at KIST radio. His college years were spent at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces, NM.
After college he joined the Air Force and was stationed first at Vandenberg AFB then transferred to Iraklion AFB in Crete for three years where he enjoyed diving and earned a private pilot's license. He then spent a year traveling Europe in a VW van.
On returning to Santa Barbara, he was hired in 1978 as the manager of the Hollister Inn, now the Super 8 Motel, where he worked for 31 years.
He married Cindy Cofiell in 1979. They had met at a singles square dance in Santa Barbara. They loved to dance and competed in swing dance competitions. They had two loving daughters, Monica 1981 and Crystal 1983.
In 1989, he married Pam Pickens whom he also met at a square dance! They continued their love of square dancing, round dancing and swing, traveling around the state in their RV to dance conventions. Van and Pam were very involved in the Lompoc Foursquare Church. He and Pam hosted youth and community events such as post-game high school gatherings, Special Olympics car shows, Halloween parties, Flower Festival events and Van even “babysat” in the nursery.
Orchid growing became a passion for Van. His yard was full of the most unusual varieties. He joined the local orchid club, and they often entered their club's display at the annual Santa Barbara Orchid show, bringing home trophies. Like his Dad, he was an accomplished carpenter, building wine racks, remodeling his kitchen, building his orchid “house” in the back yard, and making crosses for the church.
Van enthusiastically pursued sports—surfing as a young man, then archery competitions, skiing with family in Colorado and California, fishing, rollerblading, windsurfing, kayaking, and river rafting.
In 2010, Van was hired at All American Trailers North where he excelled with his management and sales skills. With his love of all things trailers and camping, the job was perfect for him.
He retired in 2015 looking forward to his long held dream of traveling the country and camp hosting in their new 38 foot “5th wheel” RV. They enjoyed this dream for a year, starting in Oregon, returning to Bakersfield for the birth of his third grandchild, then on to Colorado, then, sadly, ending in Texas.
Van leaves behind his beloved wife, Pam; his adored daughters, Monica Hennessee (Andrew), Crystal Bivans and Crystal Fielding; three grandchildren, Scarlett Hennessee, 3, Everett Hennessee, 7 mo., and Blake Gagosian 13, (son of Crystal); brother Bruce Bivans (Leslie Brueckner) and sister Patricia Dixon (Howard Smith).
A celebration of life will be held at Lompoc Foursquare Church at a later date when Pam is able to return home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lompoc Foursquare Church, 137 No. “C” Street, Lompoc, CA 93436.