One of the sunniest smiles on the Santa Barbara City College campus faded away recently, when Trish Dupart passed away on May 11, from an extremely rapid form of acute monoblastic leukemia.
Dupart had recently retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the school and attended the Board of Trustees & President’s Retiree Recognition Reception just a few days before her death. “She delighted everyone with her charm and wit and proudly showed off her new state-of-the-art prosthetic leg (due to diabetes complications). It was typical of Trish to face life’s challenges with humility and humor,” said SBCC President John Romo.
She began working at SBCC in the library in the early 1970s after her husband, J.P., took a job here as a groundskeeper. In the early 80s she moved over to the Learning Center in the Humanities Building. When the Learning Resource Center was built in the late 80s, she was made a supervisor, a position she held until she retired in December.
Dupart was president of the local chapter of the California School Employees Association for a number of years. She also served as President of the Association of California College Tutorial and Learning Assistance and as the regional representative for the California Reading and Learning Association.
“Trish took a personal interest in the lives of students, staff and faculty. Her work in the Cartwright Learning Resource Center was not just a job, it was a calling,” said Jerry Pike, Assistant Professor and Director of the Learning Assistance Center. “Trish lent a familial presence, remembering the details of students’ lives and encouraging or admonishing them as the situation warranted.”
Dupart was particularly supportive of the school’s athletic teams. For many years she volunteered her time at basketball tournaments and she would also invite teams over for barbecues at her house.
“She had a special interest and a special passion for the student-athletes, helping them succeed academically and making sure they got a good meal now and then,” said Marsha Wright, Director of EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services) and a close friend.
“Trish’s passing is a tremendous loss to the college and to everyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed,” said Romo.
Dupart is survived by her husband of 38 years, J.P., daughter, Danielle and grandchildren, Alyssa and T.J.
An informal gathering of remembrance was held at the college last week. There will be no funeral service.
The family is requesting no flowers. Those who wish may send donations to either Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, 2219 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105; The Endowment for Youth Committee, 1136 Montecito Street, Suite 2, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or a favorite charity.