NORTHAMPTON - Patricia Weed of Northampton, Professor Emerita of French at Smith College, died after a brief illness on Jan. 2, 2013, in Littleton, N.H.
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She was born March 31, 1932, in Newton, the daughter of A. Rogers Weed, Jr. and Virginia Sheehan Weed.
An alumna of Smith College, Class of 1953, Trish pursued graduate work in French Literature, earning first an MA from Middlebury and then a Ph.D from Yale. She taught at Wellesley College before joining in 1962 the Smith College French Department, from which she retired in 1997.
Trish's research focused on 17th Century French Literature. A Ph.D thesis on La Fontaine's Psyche' was followed by articles on Saint Simon and Madame de Sevigne and she regularly taught advanced courses related to her field. Whatever the level of the class, Trish is remembered by her students for her dynamic classroom presence, her high standards, her legendary wit and linguistic creativity, her kind patience and her contagious love of her discipline. This role as a transmitter of French civilization was officially recognized in 1981 by the French Government which bestowed on her the honor of the Palmes Academiques.
Trish also served the College in administrative roles, on numerous committees, as Chair of her department and as a frequent and enthusiastic Director of the Junior Year in France program of which she herself had been a member as an undergraduate.
In her spare time and following her retirement, Trish loved the natural world, planting trees and gardening. In Northampton, she was a parishioner of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and the former Blessed Sacrament Church and she also devoted herself to the Pioneer Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the Northampton Survival Center.
Her travels took her to New Hampshire, to New York for performances of the Metropolitan Opera and annually to her beloved France.
Trish is survived by a sister Marcia Fix and her husband Jerry of Easthampton; a brother A. Rogers Weed III and his wife Lynne of Spartanburg, S.C.; a sister Fourgie Smith and her husband William of Kent of Connecticut; eight devoted nieces, nephews and their families; as well as close friends in both the United States and France, including her colleagues Josephine L. Ott and Marie-José Delage.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church on Monday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m., followed by interment at St Mary's Cemetery in Northampton. Arrangements are under the direction of Ahearn Funeral Home.
Donations in Trish's memory be made to the Northampton Survival Center or Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 5, 2013