REMEMBERING MARCIE FULLER KJOLLER
Marcie Fuller Kjoller, a UCSB All-American swimmer who inspired children, is being remembered for her relentless spirit.
“She brought so much joy with her each day through her bright smile and loving hugs and warm sense of humor,” Laura Donner, director of education at Santa Barbara Charter School, told the News-Press Monday about Mrs. Kjoller, 50, a first- and second-grade teacher at the Goleta-based school. “She was a wonderfully enthusiastic, caring and kind teacher.”
Mrs. Kjoller, a Santa Barbara resident, drowned Sunday morning during an ocean swim at East Beach. No cause was determined on the scene for her drowning, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Andrew Hill told the News-Press on Monday.
A memorial celebration of Mrs. Kjoller’s life is planned for 1:40 p.m. Sunday at East Beach, where people will sit on towels and paddle out on boards, kayaks and boats in her honor.
After the paddle-out, the celebration will continue at The Red Piano, 519 State St.
Mrs. Kjoller, who was the swim team captain from 1986 to 1990 at UCSB, was inducted in 2016 into UCSB’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Her time of 23:40 in the 50-meter freestyle ranks among the best in UCSB’s history.
“I never had to worry about anything when she was the captain here,” Coach Gregg Wilson told the News-Press in 2016. “If something came up, all I’d have to do was to say, ‘Handle it, Marcie,’ and she would.
“She also wouldn’t hesitate to tell me what she thought about something, and I’d respond the same way I do with my wife or somebody else I trust: I’d tell her, ‘OK, fine … tell me why,’ ” Mr. Wilson said.
The coach was so impressed with Mrs. Kjoller that he eventually named the captain’s award after her.
Dawn Schroeder, Mrs. Kjoller’s Gaucho teammate, told the News-Press in 2016 that Marcie led the team in terms of cheering and leadership.
Ms. Schroeder and Mrs. Kjoller liked to perform karaoke together. Their favorite duet was “I’ve Got You Babe.” Ms. Schroeder said they fought over who would get to sing the Cher part of the Sonny and Cher song.
Mrs. Kjoller helped to coach the athletes in Moms in Motion and Momentum4Life, triathlon training groups that Ms. Schroeder started.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the UCSB Swimming Marcie Kjoller Most Inspirational Scholarship, The Red Piano Marcie Musical Scholarship, Heal the Ocean, and Alpha Resource Center.
Mrs. Kjoller is survived by her husband, Kevin Kjoller, and her daughters, Alanna and Liesl.