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Dr. Sylvia Boltz Tucker


Last updated 3/13/2020 at 2:59am

Dr. Sylvia Boltz Tucker

Dr. Sylvia Boltz Tucker passed away peacefully February 24, 2020, at the age of 98. She is survived by her two sons, Bob (Kim) and Britt (Diane) and four grandchildren, Colin, Kera, Hailey and Cassidy.

She was born June 13, 1921, in New Albin, Iowa, to Peter and Alvina Boltz. She grew up on her grandfather's farm. She attended Lansing High School and graduated at age 16. After graduating, she attended Iowa State Teachers College, now known as the University of Northern Iowa. She graduated at the age of 20 and began a long and illustrious career as an educator.

In 1943, during her first teaching job, she joined the Navy. While in the Navy, she met and married Navy pilot R. Frank Tucker. She finished her Naval career and was honorably discharged in 1944 at the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade).

Following the war, Sylvia and her young family moved to Oregon where she took a job as a PE teacher at Klamath Falls Union High School. During her 10-year tenure there, she worked her way up through several positions including as an academic counselor and the dean of girls.

The family then moved to Southern California, where Sylvia pursued a doctoral degree at UCLA. Upon completion, Sylvia was hired as the Dean of Women at UC Riverside. While at UCR, she also oversaw a program that helped disadvantaged youth succeed in high school and prepare for college. During her time in Riverside, Sylvia became a passionate advocate for the rights of women in education and in the workplace.

In 1970, she ran for State Superintendent of Public Instruction and held multiple positions including as a professor at Claremont Graduate University and Cal Western University. She then moved to Cincinnati to become the Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Education, where a student scholarship was named in her honor and given to a student who exhibited the traits that she was known for: excellence, energy and humanity.

She became the first female dean of a major U.S. university in 1975, when Oregon State hired her to become the Dean of Education.

Just a year later, she purchased a farm in Bonsall and moved there in 1982, where she enjoyed farming avocados and flowers. An active member of the Fallbrook United Methodist Church, she was a regular singer in the choir.

Her time in Bonsall was marked by another teaching job at National University where she also served on the Board of Trustees. Though she retired, she continued to serve the education community and was elected to the Bonsall school board from 1996-2018.

In her later years, she became a published author and wrote four books. Sylvia enjoyed her community in Bonsall and was surrounded by family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church in Fallbrook March 21 at 1 p.m. For a full life story and to sign the online guest book, please visit You can also read her blogs at


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