Tricia Taborn, a great San Francisco spirit, died today

Tricia at the Guardian's 30th anniversary celebration 1996

I was saddened to hear that my former associate of many years, Tricia Taborn, died today (April 7) of cancer at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland.

She was four days shy of her 62nd birthday.

She entered the hospital on Saturday (April 3).  Her mother Neomi flew out from Dallas,  Texas,  to be with her the last few days. Her sister Ginny, her  two brothers Kenneth and Michael  and her husband Gerald Baron  were with her when she died. 

Tricia worked for me as assistant to the publisher from July of 1993 to April of 2000.

I always marveled  at how she  could jump into things and make them work.  Her friends and family say that she has been doing that throughout her life.  When she came to the Guardian, she had no newspaper or journalism experience, yet she quickly  fit in and

became a valuable employee able to handle most any administrative job that came along.  She kept me organized and she organized an endless series of events at the Guardian that included five annual awards contests and ceremonies (poetry, photography, cartoons, short stories, film treatments) that she structured to reflect the rich cultural diversity and artistic talent in San Francisco.

She also put on major events and dinners for the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the California Freedom of Information Coalition during its early days.  She loved being a hostess and she did so with flair, a rollicking laugh, flamboyant hats and an ability to make the event important and distinctive and  to see that everyone was welcome and having fun. She served for several years as a director and treasurer of SPJ.

Victoria McDonnell, a friend that Tricia talked with almost every day on the phone, agreed that Tricia liked to jump into things.

"I know she joined her high school year book committee in Florida soon after arriving at the school.  In San Francisco, she did this at Major Ponds (a jazz club where she worked as a bartender in the late 1970s and early 1980s), the Bay Guardian, the Industry Standard (the late magazine),  OneWorld Health, and lastly selling real estate.

"Tricia was the first employee for One World Health,  It started out at (founder) Victoria Hale's house and grew to be a world-wide multimillion dollar non profit pharmaceutical company.  The first ever non-profit pharmaceutical company in fact. Tricia thrived on 'start ups.'"

Victoria Hale said that Tricia was "an amazing woman  who accomplished much, despite the obstacles, with humor and passion, while caring for others.  She had an especially good relationship with the Indian physicians who worked on leishmaniasis.  She demonstrated much courage and trust by becoming the first employee of OneWorld Health, while still on the first floor of our house."

Tricia lived in Florida, Utah, Atlanta, Dallas, and other places because her father Raymond Taborn was an aeronautical engineer and moved about because of his work. She bought a house in Berkeley in 2004 with her husband Gerald Baron. 

For the last two years of her life, Tricia lived her dream: getting her independence by selling real estate and having fun doing it. She worked in the Berkeley office of Coldwell Banker, specializing in low price housing that many real estate people avoided. She was recently recognized as the top sales person in her office.  Her main hobby, according to her friends, was shopping and she was well known at Nordstroms, Macys and Ross department stores, as well as thrift shops and farmer's markets.

Tricia was diagnosed in November with metastatic colon cancer. Over the last two months she rallied and was able to spend time and phone calls talking to her friends and "wrapping up her relationships in a positive and meaningful way," as Victoria Hale put it.

Invariably, her friends reported that Tricia remained upbeat until she went into the hospital for the last time.

She leaves her mother Neomi Taborn of Dallas, a sister Ginny of Dallas, two brothers, Kenneth of Arlington, Texas, and Michael of Phoenix, Arizona, her husband Gerald Baron,  and Tommy, her beloved cat.  Services are pending and will be reported on this blog when they are set.




Oh, no. What a great smile and a great heart. To have known Tricia just a bit is to find this so sad.

Posted by Guest Terry Francke, Californians Aware on Apr. 07, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

Oh, how I will miss Tricia. I saw her in Berkeley at a Country Joe concert last year and if she was not feeling well she of course did not mention a thing. She was a great gal and always doing good for someone. . .

Posted by Guest Lee Houskeeper on Apr. 07, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

To say she was competent would be a massive understatement. She could not only get things accomlished, she could do it when you were sure it couldn't be done. All the while remaining regal. Hewr passing is a loss..

Posted by Guest Mel Opotowsky on Apr. 07, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

I aways looked forward to seeing Tricia in the office. Her presence was like a big warm hug. I enjoyed her company very much and considered her not only a colleague, but a friend. I miss her.

Posted by Guest Maxine Malberg on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 10:04 am

I was so sad to see this in the paper today. What a shock! I worked with Tricia at the Guardian for many years. After the BG, we'd talk on the phone or bump into each other once every few years. She was a strong spirit and it's such a loss that she's no longer here. I still remember her hearty laugh and smile. You'll be missed Tricia!

Posted by Guest Beth Allen on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

Tricia came to work for the Berkeley office of Coldwell Banker and immediately brought all her bright light and enthusiasm to her new profession and to her new colleagues. She loved real estate and was fearless in representing all comers, all deals and all challenges with her usual warmth and courage. Tricia loved her husband, her family, her friends, her new career and her life. And we loved her and will never forget the brief gift of her presence.

Posted by Guest Marcia Schwartz on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 9:35 am

Keep coming back, Tricia. We will miss you. You were always a joy to be around.

Posted by Peter Byrne on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

tricia was a great person who i enjoyed very much. she will always be missed.

-her big sis barbara ann

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

Tricia called me just a few weeks ago, and we talked about getting together for lunch soon. We talked about her cancer, and she was positive and upbeat, so I was shocked and sad to hear this news. We enjoyed working together at the Guardian - and I know how much Tricia loved putting together the SPJ and First Amendment project events - they were a real highlight in her life. We stayed in touch over the years, and eventually I hired Tricia as my realtor. She worked tirelessly to take care of every last detail, and she was always so easy going and upbeat about everything - even when I'd get frustrated and annoyed with the process. She will be sorely missed!

Posted by Debra Costner on Apr. 19, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

This news just came to me today (April 23) from a friend/ former co-worker at the Institute for OneWorld Health. Tricia helped me fit in at iOWH when I was hired and was a tremendous spirit and friend. She will be greatly missed...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 11:55 am

So sad to hear this news! Tricia, you will be missed.Our thoughts are with Gerald and her family.


Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

I was so shocked to see Tricia's announcement in the chron today. I worked with her at the BG shortly after she arrived and admired her ability to create order out of chaos and manage Bruce. She could actually find files in his office! She stayed in touch after I left and after she left. I followed her in her new undertakings and was always happy to hear from her. My thoughts go out to her family. She was a great lady.

Posted by Guest Pia Hinckle on Apr. 29, 2010 @ 6:53 am

The light of the paper when I was there. Always a joy to see in the office. Gone far too soon.

Posted by Guest Johnny Angel Wendell on Apr. 29, 2010 @ 8:08 am

I did not know Tricia personally but after reading so many wonderful things about her I definitely missed out on knowing this special Angel. I met Tricia one time when she came to a wedding with her Mom Neomi Taborn in Dallas. I can feel the hurt in Neomi's voice when she called to tell me about the passing of her daughter. I can understand now when Neomi said to me that she would have died for her daughter. Tricia had so many wonderful talents and gifts. But her daughter encouraged her to live and spoke blessings into her ear to inspire her and give her the strength to let go.
I just recently saw Neomi at a Phillis Wheatley meeting and I know that her Angel Tricia is looking down on her. She is smiling in spite of her pain. May God continue to bless you Neomi and your family. May God give Tricia's husband Gerald the strength to go on.

Peggy Jones

Posted by Guest: Peggy Jones of Dallas Texas on Apr. 29, 2010 @ 11:01 am

Tricia was a giant among us not only in spirit, but in heart, courage, generosity, endurance, humor, and intelligence. I never realized how much so until she hired me to work at OWH in a temp position. As friends it was obvious that she was a great woman, but as a boss/coworker she took an a new dimention of brilliance. I feel honered that she was a part of my life. She could give and she could receive, and that is a rare gift.
I will miss her.
With love,
Tess Kelly

Posted by Tess Kelly on Apr. 29, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

Dear, dear Tricia...
What a joy and a privilege to have known you. You have touched my life with such love. You knew how blessed your life was, especially in recent years, and you shared all of yourself with the people you met. You'd found such peace and happiness in your life (career, marriage, friendships). I just wish that you'd been given even more time to enjoy them and for all of us to enjoy you.

I can still hear your laugh.
I pray that I always will.
With much love,

Posted by Pam S. on Apr. 29, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

I only knew Tricia for a short while- she helped us get our family home which we really love and are happy in. I liked her immediately, and was struck by her warmth, generosity and kindness. She really cared about people. Such a lovely lady.

Love, Claire, Bob & baby Rebecca

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2010 @ 5:46 am

Tricia was a valued part of our family. We will keep her spirit and fond memories in our heart forever.

Posted by Guest Victoria/Charles McDonnell on Apr. 30, 2010 @ 9:05 am

Tricia was a wonderful friend with a big heart, a smile that lit up the room, an infectious laugh and a passion for what's right. A piece of us has gone missing.

Posted by Carolyn and Rick Knee on Apr. 30, 2010 @ 10:52 am

I worked with Tricia at Coldwell Banker relocation and met her when she was the first agent to recieve an award for the most out going refrrals in an office and the East Bay. We discussed relocation and she wanted to find out all of the details on how it worked. I told her all about the process of relocation and how it worked she was all excited to find out more about it. When she went back to her office she discussed this with her manager Marcua Schwartz. We pulled some stings to get Tricia on the relocation team because she was new you had to have 2 years of experience but we made an exeception for Tricia. The rest is history as Tricia helped me with some incoming buyer and seller referrals. Even though she was new to the Real Estate business she made it look like she had been in it for years. She would call me weekly to give me updates on the clients she was working on. I miss getting my weekly call from Tricia and I think about her every day. She will be truly missed. I was at the memorial but had to leave early to attend another engagement. I had a bright Pink cowboy hat on in case I didn't get a chance to say hi to you! Tricia will always be in my thoughts!!!

Posted by Denise Muehler - Coldwell Banker Relocation on May. 03, 2010 @ 10:39 am