Obituary: Ralph “Wann” Rawles

Grandfather, tennis player, boat racer

Ralph “Wann” Rawles, 78, died peacefully at his Santa Barbara home on October 7, 2017.

Prior to moving to Santa Barbara in 1999, Mr. Rawles was a 37-year resident of Claremont.

He was born on June 14, 1939 in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Thomas Howard Rawles and Letitia Wann. He attended The Colorado College, earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1961. He then moved to Claremont in 1962 to attend the Claremont Graduate School, where in 1964 he earned a master’s degree in international studies. After college he taught at Santana High School in La Puente for more than 25 years. 

Mr. Rawles was an avid, self-taught tennis player and a member of The Claremont Club. He was also a soccer coach and, most of all, a sailor.

From an early age, he sailed and raced dinghies; on any given Sunday he would be out racing his Laser on Puddingstone Reservoir, competing with his wife, Judy, who raced a Laser of her own, or the two of them would race together in their International 14. When not racing boats, he could be found running his beloved Dobermans at Mountain View Elementary School, or on trails at Mt. Baldy. 

He is survived by the love of his life, Judy; his sons Jody, Doug, Drew and Lee; and nine grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 14 at Unitarian Church, 1535 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, followed by a reception at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mr. Rawles’ name to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund at


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