Christian Barrere Memorial Scholarship

Christian Barrere was an amazing person whose brilliance combined with kindness made him a treasure to all who met him. He made a difference in the lives of his family, his coworkers, and all who came in contact with his gentle spirit. More than anything he valued helping others and the scholarship is a tribute to him and what he stood for. His memory and impact lives on.

Surrounded by his loving family, Christian Barrere passed away on July 7, 2016 in Walnut Creek. After being diagnosed with renal cancer, he volunteered to participate in a cancer research study with the hope of helping others in the future overcome this currently fatal disease. He had signed up many years ago to be an organ donor, and his corneas will give sight to someone he will never meet. That’s who Christian was- a loving, giving man who touched many lives with his unselfish acts, never asking for recognition. He considered himself lucky to be in a position to help others. He leaves behind a legacy of generosity, hard work, integrity, and selflessness.

Christian, born on August 28, 1952, in Bordeaux, France, was the only child of Georges and Christiane Barrere. He had never been outside of France until he met his future bride, Kathy Horvath, who was in Bordeaux for Education Abroad. He left his family and home to be with the love of his life. They wed in 1973 in Stockton, and Christian was embraced and adopted by his wife’s family, the Horvaths. Though they often visited his French family, Christian lived the rest of his life in California. He and his wife raised three beautiful children who were the pride and joy of his life.

He worked as a sommelier at the Beverly Hilton Hotel while pursuing his college education at UCLA, graduating in 1978 with a degree in math and computer science. Crocker Bank hired him as a management trainee in 1978 and he had a long successful career in retail banking. Career advancement led him to California Federal Savings which transferred him to northern California in 1988. After seventeen years with Cal Fed, he moved on to Fremont Bank, US Bank, and Pacific National Bank. In 2010, he switched to investment banking and worked for Charles Schwab for the last five years. He felt the last years of his career were the happiest of his life. Unlike many who go to work complaining and trying to do the minimum amount of work, Christian loved his job and always did more than what was demanded and always gave 110%. He was very proud of the fact that, during his whole adult life, he was never unemployed.

Grieving his passing are Kathy, his wife of 42 years, his children Peter (Maxine), James (Christy), Laurie (Jon Landry) and his grandchildren Abby, Lucas, Kody, and Christian; his mother-in-law, Katalin Horvath, sisters and brothers-in-law, Clara Horvath, Bernard Hayes, Tibor Horvath, Diana Barnhart, Julie Stephens, Dave Stephens, Maria Miller, Bill Miller, and many nieces and nephews. In France he is survived by his aunt, Therese Plassan, cousins Maryse and Jean-Louis Couronneau, Jean-Michel Plassan, and many other cousins and extended family. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Georges and Christiane Barrere.

Criteria: 3.0 GPA, U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, financial need, and must have completed at least 12.0 units.