February 13, 2013 5:49 AM
Our cherished brother, Matthew Louis Bohnett born September 10, 1958 passed away from this earth peacefully on February 11, 2013 after his valiant year-long battle with cancer. He fought with his warrior spirit that showed the depth of his strength and grace and humor. But knowing him, he is busy making the rounds in Heaven where he will be known as "Mr. Heaven"!
Born and raised as a "Santa Barbarian", he later attended San Diego State University. He would make his way back to Santa Barbara to beautify homes under his successful business "Precision Painting", which was his craft and passion! His clients became his life-long friends and often coined the phrase for him "Mr. Santa Barbara".
He so loved his family but mostly loved his duties as "Uncle Matt" to the ever growing list of nieces and nephews; no one had a better loving, more fun uncle than our Matt. He thirsted for knowledge and never stopped learning throughout his life. He learned to play the guitar and accompanied many a family member (who "could" sing) at gatherings. His craft of painting homes transpired to adding color to the lives of everyone he came in touch with. He shared the camaraderie in playing Rugby--the tougher the opponents the better for him, especially the Aussies! Larger than life with a sweet, sweet soul he made our lives voluminous with his humor and love of all that life has to offer.
He loved family dinners with holiday music, fire pits in the backyard; an endless stream of conversation and stories were among his favorites. Whether it was an Irish corned beef and cabbage feast for St. Paddy's day, a simple stew with leftovers, chocolate ice cream, his tri-tip bbq, or his homemade pizza, he always brought the love and laughter. He also enjoyed sunsets at the beach, making his rounds of random family "drop-bys", and bike riding all over town with his sisters... he knew all the best watering holes around! He lit up any room he came into and always entertained us with his humor.
He is survived by his extensive Bohnett family (too many to list....72 stockings above the chimney for Christmas), including numerous nieces, nephews, and so many friends!
Matt loved Hawaii and all things Hawaiian. Let's celebrate him by wearing your favorite Hawaiian shirt, or touch of Hawaii to the ceremonies. His Rosary (and open mike) will be held Friday, February 15 at 6:30 pm at the Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel, 15 E. Sola St. in Santa Barbara. His Funeral Mass will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, February 16 at San Roque Church, 3200 Calle Cedro, Santa Barbara, followed by an Aloha Celebration at Harry's Plaza Cafe at 2 pm. And, the next time you see a BlueJay skipping across your path - think of our dear Matteo! He will always be with us in our hearts.