Yannick Tanguy

Date of Birth

April 9, 1939

Date of Death

September 1, 2022

Our dear friend and passionate French teacher Yannick Tatia Tanguy passed away on Thursday, September 1, 2022, in her home in downtown Santa Barbara. She is survived by her two sisters Véronique and France, and a step-sister, Sylvie as well as two nieces, Stéphane and Laure, and their three children. A Parisienne of Breton descent, Yannick was born on April 9, 1939; she lost her mother when she was very young. Her father was a physician as well as researcher in the famed Pasteur Institute in Paris. She grew up in Paris and came to the US at 28, as an au-pair, taking care of the son of a French Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She stayed on in Philadelphia to become a French high-school teacher before moving West. Yannick came to our city in 1986, leaving her Quaker school in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, for a new position as French teacher at Laguna Blanca School; she later taught at the Howard School, in Carpinteria. In Santa Barbara, she made numerous friends in the French-speaking community and beyond, in her dual capacity as French teacher and tutor for many French learners whose entire families adopted their dear Yannick. A fervent and lovely writer who kept a life-long correspondence with her French doctor, whom she called Dr. Soleil (Dr. Sun), a superbly creative teacher, and an avid reader, she had a gift for working with young learners and was a great inspiration to many of them, whether in the classroom or in tutoring sessions. She also had a passion for learning. In her retirement, she took many courses with Adult Education, focusing on Spanish, Italian, creative writing, among other topics. She observed that she always did her homework and never failed to say hello and goodbye to her instructors! In addition to her generosity, passionate temper as a Bretonne and Parisienne, loyalty to her friends, and uncompromising honesty and dignity, Yannick always felt and demonstrated a genuine respect for others and for nature. Barely using her old car, she rode around Santa Barbara on her bicycle up until the last months of her life. She criticized the rising inequalities between rich and poor and the skyrocketing cost of housing in our beloved city, which led so many to despair. The Santa Barbara Public Library was her second home, and she was a regular theater goer at the Ensemble Repertory Theater. When she was only 14, Yannick was awarded a first prize for a stunning essay narrating her memories of Brittany’s cultural and religious traditions. Fifty years after, in 2003, she received the Franco-American International Cultural Award, honoring her work as a French educator in the US. Yannick’s ashes will be scattered into the Pacific Ocean, in accordance with her wishes. Her family and friends are so blessed and honored to have known Yannick, who always drew a seagull on her upper-left cheek. She is still flying around us, who loved and cherished her. May her memory be a blessing.


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