Paul Gilbert Prince

Date of Birth

April 17, 1944

Date of Death

March 6, 2020

On Friday, March 6, 2020, Paul Gilbert Prince, husband and father of two, passed away at the age of 75.

Paul was born on April 17, 1944 in Alexandria, VA to Jack and Erna Prince. He lived there until Junior High School when the family moved to Hermosa Beach, CA. He quickly gravitated to the 1950s surf and hot rod culture that was beginning to spread across Southern California, and remained deeply influenced by these interests throughout his life.

After graduating from Mira Costa High School in 1961, he moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend UCSB. Two years later he met his future wife, Mary Anne Buerge. The two were married on June 20, 1966 and raised two sons, Ezekiel (1969) and Austin (1974).
At UCSB Paul graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. The rapidly emerging 1960s counter culture inspired him to take a different path for his graduate studies, and he switched course and entered the Art Department, eventually receiving his MFA in sculpture in 1975. While earning his masters he also began working within the art department as an aide and studio assistant, eventually parlaying those opportunities into a full time position as Designer of Exhibitions for the University Art Museum. He retired from the University after 36 years, in January of 2005.

Throughout his life a vigorous appreciation for music resided at the core of his most dearly held interests. His grandfather (Willhelm Reher), and uncles (Kurt & Sven Reher) were all classically trained, professional musicians. Paul was a devoted fan of a wide range of musical genres, but it was his passion for Bob Dylan which reigned over all. Over many decades he had amassed an impressive collection of vinyl records, 1960s psychedelic concert posters, and rock and roll memorabilia, the bulk of which focused on Dylan and his life’s work. His enthusiasm for collecting and his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of it all was immense and well known by those close to him.

Paul was a visionary artist and curator, keenly adept at recognizing and encouraging other people’s talent. His enthusiasm, intensity and optimism often inspired those around him to see, hear and do things on a higher level.

He is survived by his wife Mary Anne, son Ezekiel, son Austin and daughter in law Sara, and grandchildren Dylan and Ayler. He is also survived by a sister in law, Linda and her husband Bob, a niece Nora and her husband Colin and their new baby girl Emelia. Additionally, he is survived by many dear friends who knew him well and loved and appreciated his limitless enthusiasm and intensity for his many hobbies and interests.

A celebration will be held in the Fall. Details to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VNA Health or Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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