by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Honoring Kathy

family_scharbarth2Through tragedy and heartbreak, the Scharbarth family has never stopped supporting one another or striving to make a difference in the community. After the murder of their daughter Kathy, Ginny and Ryan, along with their two other children Melissa and Michael and Kathy’s daughter Madison, were the driving force behind the passage of California Assembly Bill AB2467. “On Sept. 24, 2012, Governor Brown signed the bill into law. It was named Kathy’s Law in hopes of keeping her memory alive and preventing similar tragedies in the future,” said Ginny.

The family is now pouring themselves into Kathy’s Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to reviving hope in the lives of victims of domestic violence. Kathy’s Legacy Foundation provides opportunities for normalcy by funding life events for children of domestic violence and is committed to meeting the basic yet critical needs of the children of domestic violence. “My mom and I conceptualized Kathy’s Legacy Foundation because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of others,” explained Michael. “The Foundation provides tangible protection for victims of domestic violence and support for surviving children.” Ginny, a former educator, serves as the executive director of the organization. The ultimate goal of Kathy’s Legacy Foundation is to open Kathy’s Village, a residential safe haven for women and children of domestic violence. Ginny encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering to visit


The Scharbarth family has lived in Carlsbad for 37 years and according to Ginny, there’s nothing like living near the ocean in a community filled with friendly, laid-back people. Ryan is the owner of Signature Plumbing, a local plumbing company that specializes in new construction and remodels. Both Melissa and Michael settled in San Diego and have built careers in the local community. Melissa is a fourth grade teacher at Park Dale Lane Elementary School and Michael is the vice president of operations at GMSI in San Diego. Madison, a senior at Cathedral High School, has a part-time job at The Forum and is an active volunteer in the community. The family can often be found stand up paddle boarding in Carlsbad Lagoon, hiking at Batiquitos Lagoon, and shopping at The Forum, Carlsbad Village, and Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Regardless of the chosen activity, one thing is for certain – the Scharbarths will never stop loving and supporting one another. “Family is always first with us,” stated Ginny.

Parents: Ryan and Ginny Scharbarth – married 41 years
Children: Kathy – deceased, Melissa, Michael, Madison – granddaughter
Community: Rancho Ponderosa
Hometowns: Ryan – Encinitas; Ginny – Born in Ventura, raised in San Fernando Valley
Occupations: Ryan – Plumbing Contractor; Ginny – retired elementary school teacher and Co-Founder/Executive Director of Kathy’s Legacy Foundation
Favorite Places in 92009: Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad Lagoon, The Forum Carlsbad, Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad Premium Outlets