Roberta Jean “Bert” Dutcher, a long-time Goleta Union School District (GUSD) teacher, died on April 14, 2022 after a short period of declining health at Serenity House in Santa Barbara, with dear friends by her side.
Roberta, Bert, Bertsie, Miss Dutcher, she answered to them all. Bert was born on Aug. 12, 1936 in St. Regis, Montana. Her family later moved to Post Falls, Idaho, where Bert went to elementary school and the family lived in the old Post Office. In high school in Spokane, Washington, Bert was on the Drill Team and, believe it or not, on the basketball team.
At Eastern Washington State College she was homecoming queen, and earned a teaching credential. She taught in the Seattle area for a brief period.
On a whim in 1963, she hopped on a bus and landed in Santa Barbara. She quickly found an opening at GUSD where she finished her 40-year teaching career in 2000.
Each vacation Bert would drive back to Spokane with her precious dog. She would spend the time with her parents doing what they always did — camping in the old beige camper, water and snow skiing, hiking, fishing, swimming, riding horse back, playing tennis, croquet and baseball.
Bert loved animals deeply. Along with her many dogs, she also had turkeys, chickens, ducks, cats and a black calf named Blackie.
She was active in the PEO Chapter OK. She had season tickets to several theater companies. She volunteered at Cottage Hospital making tray favors for the patients. She checked in students for Safety Town. All the while, she managed to squeeze in many trips around the world.
Bert will be remembered for giving selflessly of her time caring for friends, her collection of frogs and clowns, her pet-sitting, the cookies for her colleagues with the after-school-sugar-lows, her laugh, her stickers.
Bert was predeceased by her parents Robert and Ann Mattovich Dutcher and her sister Bev (Mart). She is survived by her nephew Brian Pearson and cousins scattered around the country.
A celebration of her life will take place 2-4 p.m. Saturday May 14 at Maravilla, 5500 Calle Real, Santa Barbara. Please check in at the front desk, masked, with your COVID vaccine card, have your temperature taken and then be guided to the club house.
In lieu of flowers, Bert requested that donations be made to Santa Barbara Humane, 5399 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara, 93111 or sbhumane.org.