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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Obituaries

Quirino Paris

Jan. 15, 1934 — Oct. 12, 2019

UC Davis professor of Agricultural Economics Quirino Paris passed away at his home on the morning of Oct. 12, 2019, with his sons Stefano and Matteo by his side.

Quirino was born in the magnificent Dolomite mountains of northern Italy on Jan. 15, 1934, to Narciso and Vittoria Paris. He was the fourth of five siblings: Franca, Liliana, Arnaldo, Quirino, and Paolo. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from UC Berkeley in 1966. There he met the365体育官网 love of his life, Carlene. They were married in Italy in 1967. He began working at UC Davis on July 20, 1969, the same day that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

Quirino made many important contributions to his field of mathematical programming, and helped build the UC Davis Agricultural Economics department into one of the most important in the world. His guiding intellectual principle was the concept of symmetry. He was tirelessly dedicated to research, teaching, and university service, day in and day out, for 50 years. The passion, enthusiasm, and palpable delight he brought to his teaching touched and inspired countless students, many of whom he later counted among his colleagues. 

He loved teaching so much that he never stopped, and was even scheduled to teach this fall. Quirino also maintained an extremely active professional presence in Italy and Europe. Among many other honors, he was recognized as a Fellow of the European Association of Agricultural Economics in 2008.

365体育官网Quirino was that rarest of human beings, an honest person who simply did what he believed was right. He possessed an unerring sense of ethics and justice and an unwavering determination to fight for a better society. As part of his dedicated service to the university, he frequently took on the UC Davis administration. To give but one example, he lead a successful faculty revolt against the plan to change from the quarter to the semester system.

In Italy, he courageously denounced and exposed to public scrutiny the inner workings of the academic mafia, whose corrupt stranglehold on Italian academics is so strong that none dare to speak out. For this public service he paid a heavy price, spending over a decade enmeshed in court battles, without batting an eye. Quirino never became discouraged even in the face of apparent failure. For him it was a matter of duty to do the right thing. 

But of all the many campaigns he undertook, he gleefully considered one to be his most important and permanent contribution: liberating the Davis cemetery from being used as a dog park. Quirino earned a reputation as an outspoken figure, and he was proud of that. His consistency and integrity could never be questioned. His battles were never fought for personal interest or gain, but for the principles of common sense, fairness, and justice that he held so dearly.

Above all, Quirino left behind a legacy of pure, profound, and steadfast love. In his last days he was able to say goodbye to many of his friends and loved ones, including all of his Italian relatives, and his four beloved grandchildren Carly, Jasmine, Tallulah, and Leo. All were struck by his extraordinary serenity and good cheer. He explained to everyone that we must accept what we cannot change, a lesson he learned following the death of his beloved Carlene in 2001.

Though he spent much of his life working to change things that he could not accept, his wisdom and his ability to face death with peace and acceptance was a beautiful parting gift. It was a source of solace, strength, and inspiration especially to his sons who cared for him around the clock in the final months of his life. Quirino was an irreplaceable teacher, not just of mathematical programming, but of life. His passion, brilliance, integrity, and love were mixed together in the perfect proportions, energizing our brains, lifting our world and enriching our lives. He will be sorely missed and deeply loved as long as there are people who were blessed to have known him.

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