Carol Braun Pasternack

Date of Death

September 2, 2020

Professor Carol Braun Pasternack, age 70, passed away in Santa Barbara on September 2, 2020, after a valiant 8-year battle with brain cancer.

Carol grew up in Chicago and Los Angeles and received a Ph.D. in medieval English literature from UCLA in 1983. She was a faculty member of the English Department at UCSB for a quarter century, until her retirement in 2013. During her last two years at UCSB she served as Dean of Summer Sessions.

While at the English Department, Carol chaired the Medieval Studies Program and mentored countless students. She took great pride in her students, some of whom remained close friends decades later. She gave her time generously to her peers, both at UCSB and around the world: collegiality and close friendship blended for Carol, throughout her career and life.

Carol loved her family deeply. She met her husband, Kenneth, at college. Motherhood was a dream for Carol that came later in life, and their daughter, Sofia, quickly became Carol’s greatest joy. They shared a special bond – Carol’s love for her daughter was deeply felt by all those who knew her.

Carol was an extraordinary person who taught many people without even meaning to – the way she moved through the world, the way she cooked, the way she parented, the way she was never judgmental and gave each person the benefit of the doubt – that was just how she lived. She was loved by many and will be missed by many.

She is survived by her husband Kenneth and their daughter Sofia. The family gives profound thanks to Carol’s caregiver Liliana Gomez for many years of loving and attentive care, and also thanks the staffs at Casa St. James and Central Coast Hospice.

Donations in Carol’s name can be made to the UCSB English Department or to Congregation B’nai B’rith, where she helped Rabbi Steve Cohen begin the adult education program.

Funeral services will be private, but the family plans to have a memorial service next year once it is safe to gather.


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