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Popular Samohi Teacher, Coach Left Lasting Legacy

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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

July 22, 2019 -- A memorial "pep rally" for Samohi teacher and track coach Patrick Cady -- who mentored generations of students and athletes during his 45 years with the School District -- will be held at the campus’ Greek Theater on August 25, his friends and family announced Monday.

Cady died June 8 after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

Patrick Cady

The memorial will be held on Father’s Day “because that’s what he was to an untold number of his former students, a father figure,” said Crystal Reed, a student of Cady who graduated from Samohi in 1989.

“He just really accepted everybody at such a time of insecurity” in their lives, Reed said. “He was so about trying to make everybody feel comfortable in their own skin.”

A native of Washington, DC, Cady attended UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC, earning BA and MA degrees in history.

He joined the faculty at the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) in 1974, where he taught math, history, P.E. and English, and in 1982 was transferred to Samohi, where he taught math and U.S. History before retiring in 2008.

Cady began coaching in 1979 with the Santa Monica Track Club working with youth and community athletes.

During his tenure, he coached a state champion and state runner up in the Community College Championships and saw two others qualify for the United States Olympic Trials.

In 1992, he became head coach of Samohi’s Cross-Country and Track & Field team, coaching five boys who set school records in the 100 meter sprint and a record-setting team in the 400 meter relay, and girls who set records in the 400 meter and 800 meter runs and the pole vault.

After retiring from teaching in 2008, Cady stayed as a volunteer coach with the team.

Cady was known for caring about his students beyond the classroom and earning their trust, forging many friendships that lasted a lifetime, Reed said.

“I remember walking into his classroom on the first day of eleventh grade and seeing his home phone number (pre-cell phone days) posted above the chalkboard,” Reed wrote in a tribute to Cady in the alumni newsletter.

“Write that down,” Reed said Cady would tell them. “All of my friends have my phone number, and now you’re my friends. Don’t hesitate to call.

“Many of my classmates did, and sometimes it was all that kept them moving forward during a particularly difficult family struggle or personal crisis.”

At Samohi, Cady launched a Freshman Seminar course to help ninth graders transition successfully into high school and he developed the school’s Racial Harmony Retreat, Reed said.

As a history teacher, Cady had a penchant for conveying what it must have felt like living in different eras, a lesson that went beyond dates and battles, Reed said.

“It helped a lot with compassion because he put you in a position of being a lot of different kinds of people,” she said.

An avid ukulele player, he would perform original works at the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest.

Plenty of friends from school showed up to say goodbye, Reed said.

“Whenever I went to the hospital, there was always a steady stream of former students and co-faculty coming and going.

“And he seemed genuinely happy to see each one of us. Even on the very last day.”

Cady is survived by his wife of 48 years, SMMUSD teacher Linda Cady, and their daughter Kristin Cady Russio, a Samohi grad, as well as his twin brother, Mike, a retired teacher and school administrator.

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