The Santa Barbara community lost a beloved local treasure with the passing of Pamela J. Webber on October 21, 2019, at the age of 88. Pam was a pillar of the hospitality community and contributed to countless local causes and preservation organizations. A pioneering businesswoman, she worked her way up from hotel manager to hotel owner—becoming the decorated CEO of Santa Barbara Hotel Group, a family-run collection of five distinctive properties. She remained actively engaged in the company and community throughout her three-year battle with cancer.
Born in Plymouth, England on November 23, 1930, Pam grew up during World War II. She emigrated to the United States in 1956 with her husband David Webber. They settled in Santa Barbara, where Pam's career as a hotelier began as manager of the 12-room Hacienda Motel. Hospitality was the family's calling. In 1962, they became co-owners of the Peppertree Motor Inn and purchased the Encina Lodge seven years later. In the 1990s, they added Brisas Del Mar Inn by the Beach, Inn by the Harbor and Lavender Inn by the Sea to their collection, forming the Santa Barbara Hotel Group.
Beyond being a hands-on hotelier and loving mother, Pam shared her boundless energy and sharp intelligence with the community through her nonprofit service. She was the first female ever to sit on the board of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce. She co-founded Looking Good Santa Barbara and led the effort to create Santa Barbara's Scenic Drive. An avid equestrian, she was Master of the Third Field of the Santa Ynez Valley Hounds and was active in the Los Padres and Hope Ranch trails associations.
Pam's service and dedication have been recognized by countless organizations over her lifetime. Honors include the prestigious Best Western's Chairman's Legacy Award, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation's Rock Star Life Achievement Award, Visit Santa Barbara's Tourism Star and Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce's Businesswoman of the Year.
Pam is survived by her children Jeanette and Philip Webber, granddaughter Erielle Webber and sister Sandy Jones of England. The Celebration of Life for Pamela J. Webber will be held Saturday, November 23, at 3:00 p.m. at St. Marks-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.