Candace Irene Buchanan (Cota) | Obituaries



1/20/1960 – 6/26/2018

Candace Irene Buchanan (Cota) was born on January 20, 1960 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her journey on this earth ended on June 26, 2018 in Brentwood, California. Candace passed peacefully at home surrounded by family after battling stage four metastatic breast cancer since 2017.

Candace attended Carpinteria High School (Class of ‘78) and gave birth in 1979 to her son, Ronnie Buchanan. In 1982 she married the love of her life and best friend James Buchanan at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Carpinteria, California. They welcomed their daughter Brittnie Johnson (Buchanan) in January of 1985. Candace raised her family in Santa Maria, California while working for the Santa Maria Police Department, and multiple local office support roles. Candace enjoyed watching and supporting her children at their many athletic events and was an athlete herself completing marathons and half marathons with her husband.

In 2012, Candace was at her daughter’s side for the birth of her first grandchild, Elijah. Being a Naya, as she was lovingly called by her grandchildren, was her favorite role in life. She cherished each moment with her grandkids and played a significant role in each of their lives.

Candace was able to not only attend but officiate her daughter’s wedding in May 2018 as well as attend her son’s induction to his high school’s athletic hall of fame in early June of 2018. She was so proud of her children and happy to be able to be present for these milestones.

Candace, known for her love of tie-dye, sunflowers, camping with her husband in their motorhome, and listening to music in her backyard with a nice cold glass of chardonnay. Candace—always the life of the party—had a knack for making everyone feel loved and special, giving them cute nicknames. She never let her battle hold her down or keep her from living a vibrant positive life.

Candace is preceded in death by her grandparents Cresenciano and Pauline De Alba and John and Rena Cota. She is survived by her husband James Buchanan, children Ronnie (Blaire) Buchanan and Brittnie (Dylan) Johnson, parents Norman and Mary Cota, sisters Julia (Richard) Stuber, Victoria (Jesse) Pence and brother David Cota. She is also survived by her precious and most cherished grandchildren Elijah, Dominic, Ava and Aubree as well as numerous cousins, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.

Candace and her family would like to extend a warm thank you to the many people who called her, sent her gifts, followed her journey on Facebook, prayed for her, visited her and made her laugh. Each of you, through your support and friendship, made her battle just a little more bearable.

In lieu of flowers we ask that grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins and friends make an appointment for your annual physical, mammogram and women’s wellness check with your physician in honor of Candace. As Candace would always say, “Early detection is key!”

A Rosary will be held for Candace on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 7 p.m. followed by Mass on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 10 a.m. All funeral services will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Carpinteria, California. Attendees are asked to please wear bright colors or tie-dye as we honor and celebrate the life of this happy, outgoing, tie-dye, peace sign and sunflower-loving woman.


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