She took me under her wing. Over the years, she taught me how to research – how to ask questions, even if they’re the wrong questions, in order to pursue further knowledge. As of December 2002, I’d been laid off for six months, with no prospective employment options. I always chose reading/research, over anything else, so I spent a lot of time at the Archives. It beat daytime TV, or trying to win a staring contest with my two cats. One Saturday that December, Pat gave me a Christmas gift – a warm red bathrobe with cat appliqués, which I still have and use often in Illinois winters. I felt like the “Little Drummer Boy” – had no gift for her – but I offered my time and research to help her with her own family genealogy. After 40-plus years of helping others learn about their own family genealogy, Pat had never researched her own. She accepted my gift of her personal family research, and several other close friends of Pat’s stepped up to the plate, finding documents from foreign countries. How amazing!
She was a legend at the Illinois State Archives, even when she was retired. Still working every Saturday, patient as always, with the “Newbies” and the rest of us.
She was a treasure – an unexpected gift of knowledge, experience, gentle humor and unending patience. She was loved, admired and is sorely missed.