On February 9, 2012, Patricia Ann O’Neill, age 69, passed away at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash., surrounded by her two sisters, two long-time friends and her goddaughter, the daughter of a special cousin.
Patti was born Aug. 23, 1942, to Danny and Mizpah (Mickey) O’Neill in Denver, Colo..
She moved to Havre, Mont., her father’s family home, when she was a toddler. Patti graduated from Havre Central High School in 1960 and continued her education at the University of Montana. She completed her degree in sociology in 1964, and after working in the insurance field in San Francisco for a year, returned to the university to earn her teaching degree.
Her career in teaching spanned 33 years and endeared her to many children and families on Mercer Island. She loved teaching, working in curriculum planning and collaborating with colleagues. During this time she also earned her master’s degree and principal’s credentials at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Patti was all about her faith in God. Her priorities in life were God, family, friends and her students. She was a member of St. Anthony’s Parish in Renton, Wash., at the time of her death. She often remarked that St. Anthony’s was her favorite church in all her years of active participation in her faith. Patti was a volunteer for St. Anthony’s St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank. Always one to care for others who were less fortunate, this was a wonderful mission for her. She also loved her Bible study groups, learning and living the teachings of the Word.
Patti was predeceased by her parents; and her brothers, Tim and Tracy.
She is survived by her sisters, Nancy Huss (Larry), their children Dan Huss and Robie Knox (Scott) and their respective children Ayla and Livia Huss and Audrina Knox; and Sharon DiPasquale (Leroy) and their children Tony DiPasquale, Dominick DiPasquale (Kate) and Mario DiPasquale and Dom and Kate’s son, Nunzio. She is also survived by numerous cousins; and her sisters in WW, Debora Boeck, Vicki Foreman, Marcia Fankhauser, and Linda Lynch.
Those who knew her loved her strong, humble and gracious character. Her faith and courage carried her through a number of health issues in recent years, including lung cancer and breast cancer. Patti’s wonderful Irish humor was a joy to all. She knew how to celebrate life. Patti always got the last word in on phone conversations with friends and family. Her long phone messages and thoughtful cards for any and all occasions brought laughter and love to all who knew her.
Patti approached this last recurrence of cancer with clear eyes and a peaceful heart. No one expected the complications that ended her life, but her family knows that God called her and, obediently, she went home.
Her family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to St. Anthony’s St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank at 314 S. 4th St., Renton, WA 98057, or to the Henry G. Kaplan Cancer Research Fund, c/o Swedish Foundation, at 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98104, or to the charity of choice.
Finally, Patti’s family would like to express deep appreciation to Dr. Henry Kaplan and his staff, as well as to the wonderful medical professionals at Swedish Hospital, for their loving care. She was loved and she will be deeply missed.
Rosary will be held at 7 p. m., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 314 S. Fourth St., Renton, Wash. The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a. m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, also at St. Anthony’s. Interment will follow at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue, Wash.