Passed Away On: 2017-11-09 00:00:00
Fr. Larry Kambitsch passed away unexpectedly at his home in Hollister, California on November 9, 2017 at the age of 74.
Born on September 8, 1943 in Santa Cruz, California the son of Andrew Kambitsch and Annie Doyle Kambitsch. He grew up in Santa Cruz where he attended Holy Cross Grammar School. Hearing God's calling at the age of 14. He told his mother in the 8th grade that he was going to be a priest. He enrolled in Ryan Preparatory College and also attended St. John's Seminary in Camarillo. Fr. Larry was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Monterey on May 17, 1969. His ordination took place at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. When first ordained he served as associate pastor of San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey and St. Mary's of the Nativity Church in Salinas. He later served as pastor at St Francis Xavier (Seaside), Sacred Heart (Hollister), Resurrection Church (Aptos), Santa Rosa Church (Cambria), St. John's Church (King City), Madonna del Sasso (Salinas) and Immaculate Conception Church (Tres Pinos). He also served as prison chaplain at Soledad Prison for six years. Fr. Larry held several leadership positions within the Diocese which included; member of the Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Consultor, Dean of the Santa Cruz Deanery and Dean of the Monterey Deanery. He retired in 2012 but continued his priestly ministry, celebrating Mass at local parishes and as chaplain at Natividad Hospital in Salinas.
Fr. Larry was known for his bi-lingual skills. He helped parishes transition to Vatican Council II values. He was an excellent writer and speaker. He always wrote a thoughtful column for his parish bulletins. He was much sought after for his counseling skills, deep faith and gentle ways. He had a love for southwestern art and the cowboy/western genre. He once persuaded Willie Nelson to perform a concert at Soledad prison for the inmates.
As described by his family, Fr. Larry was loving, easy going and lots of fun. He loved to hear and tell jokes. He and his sister Barbara enjoyed many road trips together. They visited Idaho, Tahoe and Solvang just to name a few. They would cruise down the highway, singing Willie Nelson songs and songs from the 60's. He would be munching on M&M's and Barbara on red licorices. He always found the good in everyone and would often counsel Barbara saying "Now Barbara, you must rise above it!" Fr. Larry was a living example of God's love for everyone. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Barbara will especially miss their regular ten o'clock phone calls to discuss the happenings of the day and to make future plans for parties and BBQ's.
He is survived by his sisters, Barbara Kambitsch and Mary Kambitsch and brothers, David Kambitsch and Daniel Kambitsch. He was also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Annie Kambitsch and his half- brother, Howard Kambitsch.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 126 High St., Santa Cruz, CA on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 10:00 am. A vigil service will be held at Holy Cross Church on Monday November 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Viewing hours will be at Holy Cross Church on Monday from 5:00 pm until the vigil service. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery 2271 7th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA. To express your condolences or share a remembrance with Fr. Larry's family please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com.
This obituary was posted on the Benito and Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel.