Patrick James Hart died Wednesday, May 21, 2015, at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara while holding hands with his loving wife, Beth. He had suffered for many years from front temporal dementia. He was 64.
Patrick was born March 5, 1951, to Charles and Arlene (Kitkowski) Hart in Milwaukee,Wisc. He had many fond memories of his childhood family trip to Cuba and the theatre productions his school performed, many times with professional Broadway actors.
Patrick was accomplished in classical cello and guitar. He was also an Eagle Scout.
He graduated from University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in environmental law. He had many amazing stories from his college days in the 1960s, which included many famous (and infamous) politicians. He worked as a musician for Ike and Tina Turner and others. It was a controversial time, and he was very involved.
After receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, he worked in Richmond, Calif., as an attorney and provided pro bono services to the indigent, the elderly, and for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
Over the many years of his career he never failed to help a victim or volunteer his time. He especially enjoyed encouraging students during their mock trial performances to become legal professionals.
In 2006, Patrick retired from the County of Kings as chief deputy district attorney. Not quite ready for retirement, he returned to his law career for another year as a public defender for the County of Tulare.
When Patrick and the former Beth Loveless were reunited after 15 years, he immediately proposed to her. They were married and made their home in Three Rivers.
While here, Patrick and Beth were active in the High Sierra Unit of Back Country Horsemen. They spent many enjoyable hours riding their horses and teaching their granddaughter, Cadence, to ride her horse.
Patrick’s happiest times were puttering around the house, cooking, feeding the chickens with his dog Lindsay, and having the grandchildren visit. He loved spending the summer months on his boat in Mission Bay (San Diego) where he enjoyed visiting with his friends, the other “crusty, old sailors.”
As Patrick’s disease progressed, the couple moved to Walla Walla, Wash. Soon after, they returned to California and settled in Santa Barbara to be closer to their family.
Patrick was proud of his step-granddaughter, Cadence Spencer, and one of his last wishes was to finish a letter to tell her how much he would miss her and what wonderful things she would accomplish.
Cadence brought much happiness to him with her kindness and humor. In his last year, he would sometimes get confused and upset, and she would smile and say, “That’s okay. I know who you are. You’re Poppa…” And Patrick would laugh.
Patrick is survived by his wife, Beth; stepdaughter Teela Marshall Finner and her husband, U.S. Navy Lt. Sean Finner of China Lake, Calif.; stepdaughter Lorrelei Marshall Lambert and husband John Lambert; step-grandchildren Cadence Spencer, Emily Lambert, and Coley Lambert of Visalia; parents Charles and Arlene Hart of San Jose; and his uncle, Don Kitt, of Mercer Island, Wash.
Patrick’s ashes will be scattered at sea in a private ceremony. Remembrances in Patrick’s name may be made to the donor’s local CASA organization.