Greenwich-Patricia died peacefully on Sunday morning age 92. She was the loving wife of Howard Pate for 66 years who died before her in 2017. Beloved mother to Andrew Pate (Stacey Nute), David Pate (Beth Pate), Judith Pate and Valerie Ardron. Beloved grandmother to Ryan Ardron, Christopher Ardron, and Alex Unrau (died 2012). And great grandmother to Quinton. Her sister Betty Miller died in 2013.
Patricia was born in Middlesex England in 1929. She lost her mother at 18 months of age and was raised by her stepmother until she and her sister Betty were old enough to move into their own flat, when Patricia worked for Abbotts Wood Wool company. Wood wool was the early equivalent to styrofoam packaging today. She met Howard in her early twenties when he invited her home to see his TV, when there was only one channel, the BBC. After marrying they moved to Romford, Essex and started a family. In 1957 Howard and Patricia emigrated with 3 small children to LI, NY where they lived temporarily at Brookhaven National Lab and subsequently settled in East Patchogue, NY. Patricia was a dedicated and loving mother ultimately raising four children. After experiencing shortages and rationing during the war, she made a fine art running the household, with a routine to rival a British train schedule. She was a great baker and is remembered for her fine pastry and especially her fruit cake, blackberry and apple and lemon meringue pie. Patricia loved her garden and all the wildlife it attracted and she and Howard spent many hours at work tending plants and frequently visited the Bayard Cutting Arboretum.
After reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Pat became an avid supporter of environmental causes especially the Environmental Defense Fund founded by Dennis Puleston, Art Cooley and others from nearby Bellport. She campaigned to address air pollution, making a presentation to the local PTA, before anyone talked about climate change.
When her youngest child was able to attend school Patricia joined the Volunteers at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and over the next 28 years contributed more than 11,500 hours to helping run the program. Early on she especially enjoyed visiting with pediatric patients, reading stories and doing art projects with them. As needs changed she became a valued and respected assistant to the director of volunteers. She made many life long friends at BMH and fellow volunteers always spoke of her warmth, can-do attitude and caring touch. She later volunteered at Mary McClellan Hospital after moving north to Washington County.
In 1992 she and Howard moved to Greenwich, NY, built a new home and once again established a garden. They enjoyed the peace and quiet and abundant wildlife and spent many hours cultivating plants and observing birds and deer and occasional foxes and other creatures. Pat and Howard made many day trips around the area. They especially liked visiting the Southern Vermont Art Center and the Clark Art Institute and enjoying a lunch at the Cafe. They enjoyed eating out at One, One, One, Steiningers, and the Dorset Inn. Patricia loved theater and often went to shows at the Sayville Musical Workshop on LI and later to Hubbard Hall in Cambridge.
More recently when she was told about Covid-19 she was not impressed, “I lived through the Blitz, the fire bombing of London”, she said. But she learned to do elbow bumps and with the dedicated care of her daughter Judith she was able to stay safe, cared for and loved at home through this past year until her passing.
Patricia will be remembered fondly by all her family and friends. The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to everyone at Saratoga Hospice. Gifts in Patricia’s memory may be made to EDF (Environmental Defense Fund), 257 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10010 (edf.org) and UNICEF USA, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.
By Christina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
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