Obituary of Catherine Smart (2022) – Solana Beach. California, California

Obituary of Catherine Smart (2022) - Solana Beach.  California, California

Catherine Patricia Pat’ Smart August 22, 1934 – March 4, 2022 Solana Beach. California
Catherine Patricia Pat’ Smart, 87, of Solana Beach, California, died at her family home on March 4, 2022. She was born to James and Mary Cotter in Brookline, Massachusetts on August 22, 1934. The family was of modest means , as Pat’s father died when she was three, and she was raised by her mother, grandmother, and two older sisters. It was a house filled with laughter.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Wheelock College in 1956. She began her career as a first-grade teacher educator in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
In 1958, at the age of 24, Pat moved to Orleans, France, where she taught for nine years, after having held a teaching position with the United States Department of Defense. It was the beginning of a life of travels, professional achievements and rich cultural experiences. It was in Orléans that she met her future husband, Robert (Bob) Smart and married in 1961. Their son Joe was born the following year. The family has lived in Germany, Brazil and Venezuela with various stints in the United States.
After moving to Richmond, Virginia in 1975 and teaching first grade during Joe’s high school years, Pat and Bob moved to Luxembourg, where they resided for the next 15 years.
Pat started working as a teacher at the American International School of Luxembourg when Bob took a job at NATO. After a brief period of teaching, she was appointed to the position of primary school principal. The school had children and staff from 33 different countries. Pat thrived in this multicultural setting. She was a wonderful, supportive and extremely hardworking manager. As one of her colleagues said, “She was an educator ahead of her time.” She introduced an art curriculum, proper music lessons, and made the science curriculum more hands-on. She was both demanding and supportive of teaching staff, and was particularly interested in helping young teachers develop their craft. She developed the first lower school curriculum for school accreditation.
Not one to rest on her laurels, she earned her master’s degree in education from Trenton State College during her summer break. In 1990, she was invited to serve on the accreditation board of the Council of International Schools and traveled throughout Europe in this capacity. His outstanding educational career spanned three decades.
In 1995 Bob and Pat retired to Solana Beach, California to be close to Bob’s family. She quickly immersed herself in her new community. She served with distinction on the evaluation committee of Solana Beach View. She was the volunteer coordinator for The American Lung Association of San Diego, served as treasurer of the New Comer’s Club of San Dieguito and co-chairman of the local widows and widowers group. She was also an officer of the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.
In her spare time, Pat enjoyed traveling with her family, gardening, supporting local theater and arts, and was a competitive bridge player. Pat enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren to whom she was known as Grandmere.
She was predeceased by her husband, Robert W. Smart of Rancho Santa Fe; sisters, June Sullivan and Peg MacPhee. She is survived by her son Joe Smart and daughter-in-law, Anna Smart of Mclean Virginia, and three Cotter grandchildren, Sam and Owen Smart, as well as her nieces, Anne Rogers, Dianne Matheson and their children.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Scripps Health Foundation.
PO Box 2669, La Jolla, CA 92038. Call: 844-442-4483 (GIVE)

Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on March 13, 2022.