Obituary: Harold Moseley

Harold Moseley passed from this life in Santa Barbara, California, on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, peacefully and quietly, as he lived it always. In his almost-century, he spent a life full of love, joy, artistic production, healing, teaching, spiritual seeking, reading, and

reveling in the mountains, lakes, ocean, forests and deserts of his beloved California. We miss him and his big, beautiful smile every day.

Harold was born and grew up in Bakersfield, California, the fifth and youngest child of Mary Jane Moseley and Benjamin J Moseley, who had settled there on a small farm after moving west from Missouri. His parents and grandmother Mary Jane Holder instilled in him from a young age a love of the land and tending plants and animals, which guided him throughout life and which he handed on to his children. With his three older brothers and sister, he roamed the nearby hills and fields, exploring, fishing and hunting.

As a young man, Harold discovered the immensity of the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, and began a lifelong relationship with the sea: lifeguarding, diving for abalone and lobsters, beachcombing, swimming and surfing. There he met our mother Carla Tutschulte; they immediately fell in love and soon married. Shortly thereafter he was drafted into the Army during the Korean conflict, moving his young family to bases in California and Arizona. He also served in Japan, where he polished his skills as a builder with Japanese craftsmen.

After his service, Harold and Carla settled in Santa Barbara. In a native oak woodland he built a stunning redwood house designed by Carla for his family. They raised their five children in a loving, wild-centered home, while Harold worked as a contractor, building and renovating many fine houses in the area. There were vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, wild foraging, beehives, parties, fabulous hiking, fishing, and Sierra camping adventures, beach days and countless lessons in life skills for his children. He loved dancing and listening to country music, especially John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” He was a kind, lively father and a steadfast friend.

Always drawn to health and the healing arts, Harold later began the study of Oriental Medicine while also establishing a cabinet-maker’s studio in Santa Barbara. He and Carla were divorced; he never re-married. Harold was awarded his Doctor of Oriental Medicine degree and relocated to Mt. Shasta, CA where he practiced medicine for years while building a custom home in the woods above his furniture-maker’s studio. Mt. Shasta years were filled with friends, spiritual seeking, fishing, canoeing, hiking and perfecting his furniture art.

Harold did not really retire until after the age of 90. He moved back to central California, renovated two more homes for himself in Los Olivos and Los Osos, and continued to create exquisite furniture, both historical re-creations and modern classics. With amazing courage, he beat cancer in his 80s, communed with birds and blackberries, gardened, walked the hills, coves and sea bluffs, practiced meditation and Qi gong, read widely, cooked complicated delicious meals, and spent loving time with his five children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He passed his final illness with dignity, selflessness, and grace. We are deeply grateful to Tree of Life RCFE in Santa Barbara, and to Central Coast Home Health and Hospice for their compassionate and wonderful care during that time. We miss him sorely.

Harold is survived by his children Delila Moseley (Stephen Sherrill), Laura Baldwin (Tom), Teresa Atterbury, David Moseley (Gisèle), and Jon Moseley (Barbara); grandchildren Kumar Atterbury, Usha Atterbury, Aliana Johnson, Willow Moseley, Jasmine Moseley, Marissa Moseley; and great-grandchildren Arjuna, Indra Bear, and Amy, and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life in Santa Barbara is planned for later in the year when COVID-19 conditions allow.

Posted online on May 26, 2021