Colin C. Petrie; Served on Santa Monica College, School Boards


Colin C. Petrie, veteran Santa Monica College and city schools educator who was active on governing boards of both, has died. He was 85.

Petrie, who served 16 years on the school and junior college boards, died Saturday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, college officials said.

Petrie, who would use the slogan the "experienced college trustee" in several races, was first elected to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board in 1977. At the time the board governed policy for elementary and secondary schools in the city as well as Santa Monica College.

When voters chose to separate the two boards in 1982, Petrie was sitting out, saying he had not run for reelection in 1981 because he was "just worn out."

Initially he objected to splitting the board because of cost, but he later came to approve of the separation because of the number of issues facing each level of education. He was elected to the college board and remained there until 1994. Petrie served as vice chairman and chairman of both the college trustees and, earlier, the combined school board.

Petrie was well-versed in public education long before he sat on either board. He taught mathematics at Santa Monica High School, where he was dean of boys, and later at Santa Monica College, from 1955 until his retirement in 1974. He headed the college math department for several years.

Petrie earned his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and master's from USC. He was a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Jean; his daughter, Joan DiGiacomo; and two grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for noon today at the First Presbyterian Church, 2nd Street and Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica. The family has asked that memorial donations be made to the Colin Petrie Scholarship Fund at Santa Monica College Foundation, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90405.

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