6/16/1941 – 4/26/2019
Gary Louis Feramisco passed away suddenly on Friday, April 26, 2019, at his home in Carpinteria. Gary was born in Fresno, California on June 16, 1941, to Louie and Mary Feramisco. Although an only child, Gary grew up surrounded by his large Italian extended family. Family gatherings, with lots of home-cooked Italian dishes, were a staple of his upbringing. As a boy, Gary loved sports and working alongside his dad in his automotive shop.
Gary attended parochial school and graduated from San Joaquin Memorial High School in 1959. After graduation, Gary enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he served as an active and reserve officer. He was very proud of his service and his Master Chief Petty Officer rank, and after over 33 years of service in the Coast Guard, he was honorably discharged in 1993.
Gary went on to earn his business administration degree from Fresno State University. And in 1970, he married Diane Marie Bennett. He began working as a retirement clerk for the county of Fresno, and after a few years accepted a similar position for San Joaquin County. While living in Stockton, California, Gary and Diane were blessed by the arrival of their son Gary, Jr. in 1975. Not long after, the family then moved back to Fresno, where Gary went back to work for Fresno County as an investment administrator.
Being a very driven person, Gary looked to move up in his career. He was hired as the assistant treasurer of Santa Barbara county in 1982 and was thrilled to move his family to beautiful Carpinteria. In 1985, he was elected as the tax collector and public administrator of Santa Barbara County. Gary’s job included many aspects from collecting taxes, serving as public guardian, investing the county’s retirement savings, and serving as the Retirement Administrator for the County Pension Plan. He was a long time member of the California Association of Treasurer-Tax Collectors. He was a founding member of the California Retired County Employees Association and the State Association of the County Retirement Systems. Over the course of his 20 years as an elected official, the County’s portfolio went from $110 million in 1985 to over $750 million when he retired at the age of 61. Gary was a no-nonsense, no-excuses type of boss, but was beloved by the people he worked with, and was quick to credit his successes to his department’s employees.
Gary was a loving and proud father and never missed an activity or sporting event his son was a part of. And during his 16 years of retirement, Gary enjoyed many days out on our local golf courses. Gary loved the Carpinteria golf group he played with on Fridays. He liked to travel and watch sporting events. Gary’s favorite teams were the Carpinteria Warriors and USC Trojans. Gary has held Trojan football season tickets since 1987 and rarely missed a game. In recent years, Gary delighted in attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Diane, his son Gary, Jr., daughter-in-law Larissa, and his grandchildren Grant and Brinley, all of Carpinteria. In his 77 years, Gary truly lived life and achieved that American dream his family hoped for. Gary’s huge smile, hearty laugh, warm heart, profound wisdom, and generous spirit will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
A funeral mass will take place at St. Joseph Church in Carpinteria on Friday, May 3, at 11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Carpinteria Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be sent in his memory to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, 530 Hot Springs Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.