Corinne Ondine Pache, Ph.D., professor of classical studies, died on July 20, 2022 from cancer. Pache was an accomplished scholar, revered teacher and mentor, and terrific friend to many all over the globe.
By her own account, Pache was, in some ways, an accidental classicist. Originally from Lausanne, Switzerland, she enrolled in her twenties as a first-generation undergraduate at Hunter College in New York City and, like so many others before her, took a classics course on a whim. At Hunter, she fell in love with the classical languages, especially ancient Greek. Her intellectual pursuits then took her to Harvard for a doctorate, with research on archaic Greek poetry and religion. Her first professorship, at Yale University, saw the publication of her book on child heroes in ancient Greece; from Yale she moved to Trinity and published her second major work on Greek religion on the complex topic of "nympholepsy"—the assault of mortal men by goddesses. For much of the 2010s, Pache labored on what would be her magnum opus: the monumental and invaluable Cambridge Guide to Homer (2020), the result of many years of editing, people-wrangling, and sheer scholarship. Throughout these volumes and her many articles—including such far-flung topics as Virgilian echoes in Battlestar Galactica—Pache brought to bear her customary acumen, literary sensibility, and graceful style.
Since her arrival at Trinity in 2009, Pache seemed somehow ubiquitous, with stints as acting chair, as Senator, as a First-Year Experience coordinator, and more: Pache never shied from heavy lifting, and colleagues found her a delight to work with in all of her administrative capacities. Students adored her—she innovated several courses, including the popular social history course "Daily Life in Ancient Greece." She was also instrumental in setting up one of Trinity's first Humanities Labs, dedicated to the early manuscript tradition of Homer, while often sending students for additional training at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, where she was a frequent collaborator. It was in her two upper-division courses that Pache worked in her most comparative vein: "Epic Journeys" examined narratives of travel and growth from a variety of cultures, while "The Homeric Odyssey" plumbed the influence of Homer's epic on subsequent artists, from James Joyce to Alison Bechdel and Derek Walcott. Pache overflowed with a love of books—not unlike her office and home!—and that passion overflowed into her classroom as well. A student once gushed: "I want to take a class with Dr. Pache every semester for my entire college career!" It's a sentiment shared by many (and for a lucky few, a wish come true).
Pache was an amazing friend and colleague. She took the Epicurean exhortation of "carpe diem" (seize the day) more seriously than anyone since Horace, and she made certain that her friends did too. Her passion for travel and adventure, for cuisine, for long walks in beautiful places, for summer afternoons at the pool, for a wide range of music and art, for tending her olive and lemon trees, and quiet evenings at home with her cats: all of these were part of her, and to spend time with Pache was to spend time with a soul deeply attuned to the beauty and joy the world has to offer. Pache never ceased wanting to learn, from Spanish irregular verbs to challenging piano pieces to a meditation technique that was new to her. She was a vibrant and beloved member of diverse social circles, meeting regularly with friends to taste wine, read and discuss great books, eat and discuss great meals, hike and explore new corners of her adopted Texas home, watch movies, cycle, practice yoga, lift weights, and dance Zumba. She was also profoundly concerned with helping others in the community, volunteering her language skills to help welcome Congolese asylum seekers. And she was a devoted friend to any feline lucky enough to cross her path, working enthusiastically with the Trinity Cat Alliance and her own brood of kitties, Oliver, Lenny and Jo.
Pache is survived by family in Switzerland, including her mother, Mireille Dolay, and her brother, Phillipe Pache, as well as her nephew and niece, Bryan and Lea Pache. She was rich in her vast circle of loving friends, including Kathryn Slanski; George Syrimis; Tom Jenkins; Anna Stavrakopoulou; Adele Haft and Jordan Zinovich; Judith Norman; Lisa Jasinski and Patrick Keating; Tim O'Sullivan and Anadelia Romo; Bill and Barbara Sullivan; David Rando and Shannon Mariotti; Andrew Kania and Julie Post; Patti Hale; Julie LeBrun; Nicolle Hirschfeld; Alexander Beecroft and David Greven; Alison Marek; Sulochana Asirvatham; Stephen Colvin; Susanna Braund; Ronnie Ancona; Nicole Durish Gauthier; Corinne Béguin ; Katherine Wasdin; and many, many others.
A celebration of Pache's life is planned for later this fall in San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to donate in Pache's honor may consider The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), which provides aid and support to immigrant families; or the San Antonio Humane Society.
Corinne Pache's loved ones encourage those who knew Pache to share photos, videos, and remembrances on her Legacy obituary.