Patricia was born March 16, 1929, daughter of John J. Lavin and Cecile Cyr Lavin in Boston, Massachusetts. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Patricia (Richard Garre), Mark, Sean (Julie Winson) and Peggy (Leon Basdekas), as well as her beloved grandchildren Neil and Katie Basdekas. Husband John died in 2017 and is much missed.
Patricia graduated from Dorchester High School for Girls in 1946, and then worked in the Personnel Department of Gilchrist Department store in Boston while attending night classes at Northeastern University. Pat married John T. O’Neil, Jr. following his graduation from Boston College in 1951. They moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where she worked for the National Red Cross until her first child was born in 1953. Settling in Bowie, Maryland in the early sixties, Pat was one of the initial organizers of the St. Pius X C. C. D. (Sunday school), acting as both Vice President and Assistant Principal of the elementary school classes. She matriculated at Bowie State University in 1963, graduating summa cum laude in 1969 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and later completing a Master’s Degree. For the next twenty years Pat taught grades kindergarten through third in the Prince Georges County, Maryland School System until her retirement in 1989. During her retirement she and husband John worked part-time for the Meetings Department of the Optical Society of America organizing and running scientific meetings around the country. Pat was one of the founding members of the Menopausal Maidens of Maryland, Bowie Chapter.
In 1996, vowing never to be cold again, she and John sold their house in Maryland to realize their dream of winters in Vero Beach, Florida and summers in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In Vero Beach Pat tutored children in reading, became an active member of the Sunbonnet Sue Quilters, and an active member of the Women’s Democratic Club of Indian River County. In 2014 Pat and John moved to Colorado Springs (but it’s a dry cold), to be near their daughter, Peggy, son in law, Leon, and their grandchildren, Neil and Katie. Pat and John were active residents of the Cheyenne Place community and enjoyed volunteering for the Army Community Service Nurturing Center where they put their wonderful grandparenting skills to use, spending time with the babies and toddlers of deployed servicemen stationed at Fort Carson.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80910.