Dec 8 1921 - Aug 16, 2013
Resident of Santa Cruz
Juliana Dysart Rousseau passed away peacefully on August 16th of natural causes at the age of 91. Born in Elko, Nevada, she was the daughter of District Court Judge James Dysart and Ethel Parus Dysart. High school valedictorian, she went on to graduate from Duke University in English Literature with an interest in Journalism. Poetry and literature remained a source of joy throughout her life.
During the war, she worked at the Office of War Information in San Francisco with a focus on Indochina. After the war, she took one of the first passenger liners to Honolulu where she fell in love with the aloha spirit of the Islands and with her future husband Francis Roberts Rousseau. Intending to continue on to a job as a journalist in Bangkok, she chose instead to marry - her son Randall was born in Honolulu in 1949. The couple soon moved to Mexico City, then a few years later to Rio de Janeiro, where her daughter Denise was born in 1952, and eventually to Buenos Aires as Francis pursued an executive marketing career in international publishing.
Returning to California in 1959, Juliana went back to school at the University of California, Berkeley to earn a teaching degree and Masters in Library Science. She taught English at one of the first experimental public high schools in Northern California; worked as head researcher for the startup of Learning magazine; and specialized in computerized educational research. Upon retirement, she finally made it to Thailand on a tour with Buddhist scholar, John Blofeld and would spend time with her husband in their second home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
She designed and built her retirement home near the UC Santa Cruz campus where she nurtured a native garden long before it was a popular concept. When not gardening, she hiked frequently in the Pogonip, was an active member of the University Women's Club, and served as President of the League of Women Voters, a tireless advocate for fair transportation policies. She had a number of adventures with her grandchildren: rafting down the Green River in Utah with her grandson Paul and teaching her granddaughter Claire about architecture in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
She is survived by her son Randall Laurent Rousseau of Forestville, California and Denise Dysart Rousseau of Santa Fe, New Mexico as well as her grandchildren Paul, Claire and Karina Rousseau. A private family memorial will be held September 23rd in Forestville. Donations may be made in her memory to The League of Women Voters or Planned Parenthood.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Aug. 29, 2013