Ernesto P. Paredes
Ernesto, a loved and respected member of Santa Barbara’s education community, passed away March 10th at Cottage Hospital surrounded by family. He was 86. Ernesto was born on November 17, 1929 in Del Rio, Texas, where the Paredes family was a pillar of the community. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, and through a basketball scholarship, received his bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University in Texas.
As a result of donating his time to the community coaching youth basketball, Ernesto met his wife, Marta, at a Lion’s Club dance in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. They married in 1958 and eventually moved to Santa Barbara, raising their 3 sons. A proud father and grandfather, he loved nothing better than family gatherings.
A teacher of many subjects and grade levels, his career as an educator spanned 47 years. Locally, Ernesto taught at Santa Barbara Jr. High School, was principal at La Cuesta High School, and a teacher at San Marcos High School. He was member of the SB School District for 28 years, 20 of them at San Marcos where his enthusiasm for students and learning was contagious to all who met him. Having earned a myriad of teaching credentials, for all school levels, when people asked Ernesto what he taught he would immediately respond, “students.” Amongst many of his students he was known as “el profesor de todos” (everybody’s teacher).
A dedicated educator, Ernesto worked in the 1970s for the state of California with the office of Migrant Education while studying for, and receiving, his Masters in School Administration from San Jose State University. In addition, he encouraged his wife Marta to fulfill her desire to get her college degree at UCSB, finally receiving a double bachelors degree, teaching credential, and Masters in Spanish literature. After retiring from SMHS, Ernesto managed his properties in the community. He loved teaching and inspired so many in the Santa Barbara community it was rare for him to go out in public without running into a least one thankful former student.
Ernesto is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marta, his sons Alfredo (Celina) and Ernesto II (Jenifer), and Roberto (Lisa). He has 7 grandchildren, Peyton, Alfredo, Riley, Reyna, Daniel (deceased), Isabela, and Maya Paredes. An unselfish and energetic man, Ernesto will be remembered for his daily lessons on life, his love of engaging young people, his view that anything is possible, his honest way, and his love for his family and friends. A noble, encouraging man, he never had a negative thing to say about anyone. He was an inspiration to so many.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that contributions be made to the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation. A celebration of Ernesto’s life will be held on Friday, March 18th, at noon at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara Street. A reception will follow.