Dr. Patrick C. Lucia, Ph.D.
March 17, 1948 – November 7, 2018
Pat Lucia passed away after a brief but courageous battle with esophageal cancer. He was 70 years old.
He was born on St. Patrick’s Day in Medford, Massachusetts to Patrick C. Lucia and Alice Maguire. His family lived there until 1956 when his mother left Massachusetts with Pat and his younger sister Brooke and moved to California. As a single mother, Alice found work in Fresno, then relocated again with her children to Roswell, N.M. They returned to Fresno where Pat attended Hoover high school and discovered his love of football. True to his nature, he worked hard at his sport. As team captain, he led his team to the All City championships.
Upon high school graduation, Pat enrolled in City College but academic pursuits failed to hold his interest at that time. To avoid being drafted into the Vietnam war, he enlisted and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. That proved to be the gateway to Pat’s long and distinguished career as a civil engineer. After discharge from the military, Pat enrolled at UC Berkeley and studied engineering. It was there that he earned a Bachelor of Science (l974), Master of Science (1975) and doctoral degree (1980).
While at UCB, Pat’s Ph.D. Advisor, J. Michael Duncan guided and inspired Pat’s professional aspirations. Their mutual collegial esteem developed into the closest of friendships. Through the years, Pat and Sally grew to cherish the ties they shared with Mike, his wife, Ann, and their children.
Pat distinguished himself as a geotechnical engineer in a career that spanned 40 years. Early on, he was a principal at the engineering firm of Woodward-Clyde, where he led their environmental mitigation division. He later joined Geosyntec Consultants, which grew under his management. He was its Chairman of the Board for over a decade and manager of its Oakland office. Pat also served as expert witness on many major litigation cases and brought his expertise to challenging projects throughout the country, including post-Katrina reparations.
After retiring from Geosyntec, Pat became an adjunct professor at UC Davis where he shared his real-world experience with engineering graduate students. He also served as the advisor to the UC Davis Geotechnical Graduate Student Society. Throughout his career, Pat derived great satisfaction from mentoring students as well as young engineers. Among his many professional accomplishments, Pat was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni at UC Berkeley in 2016 and served on the Board of Directors for Haley and Aldrich, Inc.
Pat loved travelling with his wife, Sally, and playing golf. This past summer, they visited Scotland where Pat realized a longtime dream of being at the famed St Andrews Links. Besides playing golf, Pat liked to organize golf tournaments for friends and colleagues. Additionally, he was a proud member of Sons in Retirement and often golfed with his fellow SIRS friends.
Being with his large blended family meant the world to Pat. Backyard barbecues, hosting lazy vacations at home, trips with the grandchildren to Disneyland and family vacations in Hawaii were among his happiest times. Pat took particular delight in his four grandchildren, James, Kathryn, Fiona, and Elliot.
Pat was our anchor. As we adjust to life without him, we’re grateful for his presence in our lives. We’ll treasure memories of his tender side, his ready smile, his generosity and the support that he lent. He was one of a kind.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of sixteen years, Sally Lucia, a son and daughter from his first marriage, Michael Lucia (Leigh), and Jennifer Lucia (Bryan), his adopted daughter, Jennifer Gaeden, stepson, Chris Gaeden (Nancy), his sister, Brooke, his niece, Tara, nephew Mark, grandnephew Vinnie, and his four grandchildren. He was also survived by his beloved Labradoodle, Ollie, who gave him five years of joy and laughter.
A Celebration of Life will be held on January 12, 2019 at Boundary Oaks Country Club, 3800 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek, CA, beginning at 12:00 Noon. Close friends and family are invited to gather, share stories and remember this wonderful man.
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