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The Museum Mourns the Passing of Patricia A. Wand

Pat Wand serving a homemade spinach pie to a house full of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in March of 2023. 

Remembering Pat Wand:  An Immense Legacy

Our Peace Corps Museum community joins family, friends and colleagues across the globe in mourning the loss of Patricia Anne Wand.  On Tuesday April 25, 2023, Pat arrived in Spain to finish walking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route stretching from France to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.  Ever the adventurer, she had been training for months and planned to walk the remaining 240 miles alone.  Shortly after arriving Pat suffered from a stroke at a hostel and passed away on April 28, 2023.  Her family has returned her ashes home to Bethesda, MD.  

Pat’s impact on the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience cannot be overstated.  She was an innovative thought-leader, an inspiring volunteer mobilizer and an unwavering champion of Peace Corps ideals.  Pat became President of the Board in 2018 and led efforts to transform the Museum from a local initiative in Oregon to a national institution.  As a fervent advocate for open access to knowledge and information, developing a cultural institution such as the Museum was a natural fit for her.  

Pat’s expertise and contributions to the life of the Museum have been immense. Indeed, even a summary of her accomplishments wouldn’t do justice to her continued impact. Among her achievements is the development and coordination of a series of traveling exhibitions showcasing significant artifacts, telling cross-cultural stories, and fostering an appreciation of service.  These works were seen by communities across the U.S. at venues including the REACH Opening Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, “Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Volunteer Experience” at American University Museum, and “Posting Peace: Peace Corps Posters 1961-2022” at the ArtReach Gallery. In addition, she refreshed the Museum’s website, launched its collections and holding infrastructure in Washington, D.C., and initiated the Many Faces of Peace Corps Advisory Group to center inclusivity, diversity, and equity across programs. The launch of this advisory group was among Pat’s most cherished gifts to the Museum celebrating the full diversity of the Peace Corps experience.

Pat drew upon a great deal of expertise derived from her love and decades-long experience in the field of library science. Detail-oriented, well-versed in tech trends, and a polished public speaker, Pat displayed a passion for information technology that was evident in all she did. Her illustrious career in higher education included professional appointments as the University Librarian and Professor Emerita at American University and the Dean of Library and Learning Resources at Zayed University (UAE). In addition, she held library positions at the University of Oregon, Columbia University Libraries, the College of Staten Island (CUNY), and Wittenberg University. Early in her career, she even taught in secondary schools in Washington, DC and the Midwest. 

In 1963, Pat began her Peace Corps journey as a volunteer in Buesaco, Narino, Colombia.  There she worked as a community development and health education volunteer teaching nutrition, sewing, knitting, and public health.  She developed rich ties during the Peace Corps and maintained relationships for years with the people she met there and the people of Colombia through active engagement with the Friends of Colombia group.  Pat also served on Peace Corps staff in the Eastern Caribbean in 1969 and later supported the National Peace Corps Association as a Vice-Chair of the Board and a Sargent Shriver Leaders Circle member.  

Pat is survived by her son, Kirk Dean Silvernail, daughter-in-law, Julia Silvernail, and grandsons Tristan Caleb and Logan Asher. She is also survived by her brothers, Jerome, Richard, and David Wand and sisters, Helen and Carolyn Eslick Donaldson as well as sisters-in-law, Dana, Sharon, and Roberta and brothers-in-law, Gene Casciato and Charles Donaldson, her former husband, Francis Silvernail, numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.  She joins those who predeceased her, daughter Marjorie Lynn Silverwand, her parents, and her sisters, Ruth Wand Casciato and Dorothy Wand.

Memorial services will be held in Washington D.C. and Portland, OR.  The first will be held on June 2nd at 4pm at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation located at 6301 River Road Bethesda, MD 20817.  The second memorial service will be held in the Portland, OR area mid-summer with details to follow. 

In lieu of flowers, Pat’s family has asked that you consider donating in her name to the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience.  For now, we are united in grief.  We at the Museum are also united in memorializing Pat’s legacy by fully realizing the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience.  



  • Angie Harris
    May 3, 2023

    Pat had a beautiful spirit, a brilliant mind and a heart of gold. She’s a woman who inspired us through her life’s work and dedication. What an outstanding and compassionate human, friend and colleague I will always cherish! I’m both fortunate and honored to have known Pat via the PC community, and I will miss her terribly. May Pat’s spirit shine bright and her legacy live on in our hearts and minds.✨✨✨

  • Debbie Manget
    May 3, 2023

    Pat had such a generous spirit! She welcomed everyone into her circle and inspired so many of us. The two times I went to Washington DC (from Atlanta), I stayed with Pat and she invited the Museum Committee’s DC members to come to her house for dinner and wine. Twice! She loved everyone and we will miss her sorely! Pat, your spirit is with us.

  • Diane Hibino
    May 3, 2023

    Pat knew how to lead and to bring us into her circle with diplomacy and gentle urging – and we are better for it. She was determined to complete the Camino herself but her last journey ended much too soon. Rest in peace, Pat!

  • Peter Deekle
    May 3, 2023

    Pat was a prime force who fostered my engagement with Peace Corps after a half century of absence. When I relocated to the DC area in 2016 Pat hosted my birthday, and almost weekly thereafter we provided mutual support during her home’s renovation. She never stopped in the many months of temporary relocation to borrowed housing in the interim. Always caring, guiding, engaging. These qualities I miss the most now.

  • Maureen Shanley
    May 3, 2023

    I served in Colombia (’77-’79) years after Pat had served, but we would always meet at the Peace Corps Conferences that were held in DC. I was president of CT Returned PCVs for 30+ years, but Pat’s energy and accomplishments left my work in the dust. I so looked forward to the Colombian dinners that she and others would arrange for all of us to attend one night of the conference. I loved going to those fiestas because it was like going to a family reunion. Pat was the one who who would remember everyone and she welcomed each one of us with open arms. Her energy and spirit will always be in the Museum of the PC Experience because it was a passion for her. Learning of her passing makes me so sad because our world is diminished. But I am happy to know that Pat was doing what she loved when it was her time to leave this plane. My condolences to Pat’s immediate family since their loss will weight heavily on them.

  • Karen and Cliff Deveney
    May 3, 2023

    Pat devoted her life to the service of others and to improving their lives in whatever ways she could. Her accomplishments are staggering and far-reaching, and yet she remained humble and modest. She embodied the best qualities of leadership, generosity, and compassion. All who knew her—and they were many— benefited from crossing her path. We will greatly miss her.

  • Hayden Aaronson
    May 3, 2023

    Pat has been a dear friend of my families ever since serving as the Librarian at Zayed University in Dubai. I met Pat several times in Dubai and kept in touch with her through my parents. She had such great energy, intellect and zest for life and an ability to connect with people of all ages. Her work with the Peace Corps Museum was especially meaningful as both me and my father are RPCVs (Samoa ’67 & Bulgaria 99). My family and I are shocked and saddened by Pat’s sudden passing, but take solace in thinking what a full and accomplished life she led. My condolences go out to her entire family. She will be missed.

  • Paul Jurmo
    May 4, 2023

    Pat welcomed me and my wife, Olga, to DC in 2019 after we returned from serving as PC staff in Tonga. She graciously helped us get involved in adding to and managing the Museum collection, much of which was stored in her beautiful house in Bethesda. We traded stories about our PCV days and about Colombia (where Olga was born and raised). Pat displayed great insights about the value of PC as well as the organizing skills and artistic perspective required to create a museum of cultural artifacts and experiences from scratch. Plus she was fun, warm, gentle, humble, human. The world needs many more Pat Wands.

  • Doug Teschner
    May 4, 2023

    Pat was a force for good in Peace Corps and the world.

  • Jackie Coolidge
    May 4, 2023

    Pat was a member of the extended family of a close friend/neighbor, so that’s how I first knew her. Delighted to discover our mutual ties to the Peace Corps and sharing stories. She encouraged me to contribute to the museum not only monetarily but also contributing an item to the exhibit and accompanying story. I also took advantage of the Covid lock-down to compile my old “letters home from Peace Corps” and type them up with fresh commentary “… What I Did Not Tell My Parents” and she shepherded that contribution to the museum and archives as well.

    She was tremendously lively and positive, putting all her energy to good use for the community! So sad that she is no longer with us.

  • John E. Fleming
    May 4, 2023

    I have known Pat for only two years, but when we first met in Silver Springs, Maryland, we immediately became friends. It was as if I knew instantly that would happen. Pat encouraged me to join the board of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. Because of mounting commitments, I volunteered to serve a a senior advisor to Pat and the board. In that capacity, we talked on a regular basis about the museum and other Peace Corps Projects. Pat encouraged me to be interviewed for the Many Faces of Peace Corps project. Pat was active in so many projects, but she always had time for her friends. We would schedule time for brief conversations, but ended up talking for hours. Pat read the draft of my Peace Corps memoir and made many helpful suggestions for improvement, Despite her committments, she reread the manuscript as she agreed to write the foreword. Pat was a dear friend and I came to love her for the wonderful person that she was. She is missed but will live on in the lives on those she inspired.

  • Jack Swenson
    May 4, 2023

    Every encounter with Pat was a continuation of the previous meetings with her. In my case, this dated back to first knowing each other in Colombia almost 60 years ago. What an alive and sensitive person, not to say competent beyond all measure was Pat, a true professional. She made all of our lives richer and more meaningful. Rest in peace, Dear Pat. Indeed, you will be deeply missed,

  • Michael Haviland Colombia IV
    May 4, 2023

    For the past six years when we met, Pat was a wonderful friend who dedicated herself to the ideals and goals of the Peace Corps. She fully devoted her time, her skills and her energy to making the world a better place. She was a gifted leader who inspired and brought people together to achieve lofty goals. She made the world a better place. Rest in peace, dear Pat.

  • J Henry "Hank" Ambrose
    May 4, 2023

    Pat Wand (and Kristina Owens) were instrumental in my becoming of the NPCA Board. I consulted Pat before accepting the nomination to Chair the NPCA Board. I was fortunate to visit her home once for dinner engaging in discussions with other RPCVs. Seeing her dring the Shriver Leadership Summit is March 2023 now holds special meaning. She and her wise counsel will be sorely missed.

  • Kay Dixon
    May 4, 2023

    What a remarkable life Pat led, leaving an extra-ordinary legacy of multiple programs, good deeds and Third Goal projects. Rest well my friend (Our secret of 50 + years will forever remain our secret!) Indeed you will be missed.

  • Nancy Andal. RPCV, Philippines, Justine Andal
    May 4, 2023

    Pat so graciously welcomed me and my Granddaughter last June when I donated an artifact to the Peace Corps Museum. I was looking forward to seeing her again when the Museum officially opens.
    She was the most passionate advocate for the Museum and for the Peace Corps! I will certainly miss seeing her and hearing about her experiences!

  • Paul Yamauchi
    May 4, 2023

    As a PCV in Ecuador (1982-1985) I did not know who Pat Wand was. However, I know about her now and realize what a wonderful person she was, leaving sacred, invaluable legacies for the world. Nowadays, given the social and political uncertainties and controversies, it’s great to know she and more people like her will continue to grace us in many ways, now and forever, with their vision, leadership, and values.

  • Abby Wasserman
    May 4, 2023

    Pat and I shared a room in Cartagena during a Colombia PCV reunion some 20 years ago and in those few days I enjoyed her relaxed, friendly way of being and admired her dedication to Peace Corps. She was impressive personally and a backbone of Friends of Colombia, a stalwart supporter and tireless worker and an inspiraton. I can only imagine the ambition and guts to train for a trek of 240 miles at her age, but I’m sure she anticipated the challenge with zest. My condolences to her family and friends. It is a huge loss.

  • Bob Crooks, Costa Rica 1966-68
    May 4, 2023

    Pat and I spoke just a few days before she departed for Spain last month. As always, she was vibrant, engaging and full of life. We planned to get together in D. C. later this year to discuss her experience on the Camino and provide her the opportunity to prod me into expanding my support for the P. C. Museum. She was such a shining example of living the Peace Corps’ Third Goal. Pat, you will be sorely missed.

  • Steve Fischman
    May 4, 2023

    We were members of the same PC group in Colombia’63-‘65. Pat was our group communicator, organizing reunions, maintaining relationships and keeping the Peace Corps alive for us. She was a kind and thoughtful friend. Pat will really be missed!

  • Helene Dudley - Colombia '68-'70
    May 4, 2023

    I rememberer Pat as a wise and steady mentor and friend. Although in her 80’s it seemed she was still in her prime. She contributed much to the NPCA and Colombia RPCV communities and to the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. She will be missed.

  • Mike Band, PC Colombia 2011-2014
    May 4, 2023

    I met Pat as during my first Friends of Colombia (FOC) meeting in 2014. She welcomed me with open arms and wanted to hear all about my experience as a PCV in the same country where she served many years earlier. I have so many fond memories of Pat, most involving storytelling and laughing. I loved the photo she had in her house of her and a friend at Machu Picchu in the 60s. Her stories of traveling around South America in the 60s made me want to pack a bag and get in a flight. She was a true adventurer!

    FOC and the PC Community lost a great champion and we all lost a great friend. Miss you Pat. Un abrazo

  • Paul Gherman Colombia 1967-69
    May 4, 2023

    Pat and I both served in Colombia and were academic library directors. I saw her contribution first hand in both relms. She will be missed by all her colleagues.

  • Chic Dambach
    May 4, 2023

    The sudden loss of Pat is hard to accept. She was a dear friend for 3 decades, and she was always an inspiration and delightful companion for lunch dinner or coffee. She personified the very best of the Peace Corps in every way. I had the privilege of seeing her on the AU campus as well as we were both adjunct faculty, and of course, she made sure the library housed Peace Corps books and materials. Peace Corps related events just won’t be as inspiring and uplifting without Pat’s exuberant smile and wise perspective. I miss her greatly.

  • Janet Greig India 1966-68
    May 4, 2023

    Pat and I have worked very closely together these past 12-14 years…. on many things Peace Corps: NPCA, A Towering Task, The Peace Corps Commerative Park and of course the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. We strategized, debated, wept and rejoiced – on work done, work to be done and work yet not done. Our plans for the coming months and year or two were full AND I miss her steadfastness,humor, clear thinking, integrity and grit so very much. She was so looking forward to completing this final leg of the Camino and returning re-energized to complete work yet to do. This vision and the work now passes to others who I believe will, in her honor, work steadfastly to bring the Museum to the public in the most appropriate venue. To say I feel a void is a major understatement.

  • Gary Moses
    May 5, 2023

    I regret that I never met Pat. I was a PC volunteer in Cali, Colombia 1967-69. Bless her and all that she did.

  • kelly c kammerer
    May 5, 2023

    I was shocked and saddened to read of Pat’s sudden death while walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. We were friends and colleagues in Colombia VIII and kept in touch over the decades when we both lived in Washington, DC. More recently she had been exchanging e-mails with all remaining members of Colombia VIII helping to organize a 60th reunion later this summer – typical of her unceasing efforts to promote the ideals of the Peace Corps. It is small solace for such a loss, but it is a fitting tribute that she died while undertaking a typically idealistic challenge.

  • Bob Findlay
    May 5, 2023

    I so admired Pat as we joined Colombia 8, friendship deepened during a mid-service adventure around SA with J Bishop, D Lightwine, L Leckenby and her brother Jerry. Saw her over the years through COS reunions, NPCA board service and early Museum activity in Portland. Adios querida Patricia

  • Refugio Rochin “WILL”
    May 5, 2023

    Shocked and very saddened to see the death of Pat. I was her PCVL in Narino, Colombia and settled her into village. From day one she and partner Jenny Bishop established their tiny village home into a center for Community Development. She was loved by villagers. I was also with her and Jenny when a campesino knocked on their door. I opened and he said: Mister, our President is dead. I said I was very sorry to hear that Colombian President Valencia had died. NO! Said the CAMPESINO – wearing village sandals and working clothes. NO!
    We lived in Narino at the southernmost part of Colombia where the people were Inca descendants with big hearts. Pat was also loved by all.
    From then we PCVs met in DC several times. And the death of her daughter was equally sad – so young.
    Now I am thinking of so much between 1963 in a village so far away.
    Love to Pat – she can’t be gone.

  • Ronald Schwarz
    May 5, 2023

    In her life Pat Wand embodied what those who envisioned, created and sustained the Peace Corps had hoped for. Let’s all do what we can to ensure she is never forgotten.

  • Glenn Blumhorst
    May 5, 2023

    I mourn Pat’s passing, while celebrating her life and legacy. She was a gem of a person and admired by many. Pat was a NPCA board director and member of the search committee that recruited and hired me as President and CEO in 2013. We formed a close professional relationship and deep friendship over the years, and we would chat by phone nearly every day, often for hours. She was one of my most trusted advisors, mentors, and confidants. Just days prior to her trip to Spain, Pat stopped by our house, and Cathy and I shared a special moment of deep introspection and a sentimental farewell hug with Pat that I will forever cherish in my memory of her.

    Pat embodied the Peace Corps’ Third Goal and was a visionary leader who brought unmatched energy and enthusiasm to the movement to establish a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. She has passed the torch on to us to complete her earthly mission. We honor her legacy by pressing onward and upward in her memory. I extend my most sincere condolences to all of Pat’s many friends and family.

  • Geri Critchley
    May 5, 2023

    OMG – I am shocked beyond words.
    Pat’s contribution to this world has been phenomenal – especially to NPCA/ Peace Corps.
    Her friendship and caring for all is immeasurable. She always opened her house and life to the world.
    What a loss for us all!
    I’m feeling grateful for your presence in the world and also very profoundly sad. Your legacy will continue with a profoundly positive impact ad infinitum. We, who knew you, were so fortunate.
    With gratitude and love

  • Judith Madden-Sturges
    May 5, 2023

    You will be missed by all, Pat. Our endless meetings to create a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience were led by you over a six-year period with grace and masterful organizational skill. We will be lost for a while until we find new inspiration in our memories of you and your model of taking endless small baby steps each day toward building a cauldron of Peace Corps experiences. We will continue to find ways to include the voices of all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and share these with future generations of potential Peace Corps Volunteers in your memory.

  • Charles R. Rowe
    May 5, 2023

    One can only remember Pat vividly. She was energetic and positive to say the least and did so much for us and the Peace Corps.
    We trained together with PC VIII in New Mexico, started a two-room, metal framed school house in Narino and stayed connected though
    the years. She welcomed us to her home in Bethesda prior to her speech at American University on occasion of the 50th PC reunion. A friend and
    inspiration to be cherished.

  • Michaelyn Mitchell
    May 5, 2023

    My husband David and I were broken-hearted to hear of Pat’s passing. We came to know Pat only last year and under very sad circumstances, during my sister’s (Chad 1968-70) last days. David and I became very fond of her immediately. Her kindness, compassion, generosity, intelligence, and warmth were a huge comfort to us during that very difficult period. We had hoped to enjoy years of friendship with this very lovely woman.

  • Gary D. Robinson
    May 5, 2023

    Pat was in a word, a treasure. The brilliance of her persona in pursuing all things Peace Corps was just about blinding. Certainly a role model for all of us to follow.
    She is a great loss to the world and in particular to the Peace Corps. I will miss her constant involvement that always made things better.

  • Karen Keefer
    May 5, 2023

    If memory doesn’t fail me, Pat was an early member of the ACTION Alumni Assn. of the Greater Washington Area (AAAGWA), when Peace Corps (PC) was placed under ACTION in 1981. When six of us Returned PC Volunteers (RPCVs) started it and it quickly grew in a year to 200+, we soon had a number of spin-off groups that were like spokes of the ever-growing (peace) umbrella. Pat’s interest in historic preservation emanated into the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, which continues as a treasure for all Americans to see what good PCVs not only do in our countries of service, but continue to bring home to educate others about friends. For decades to come the Museum will continue to carry out just one of Pat’s accomplishments, as it continues to educate the public from many countries about the service of PEACE and LOVE that PC Volunteers have contributed over decades. Pat has earned her wings, as she blesses Heaven in her new eternal home!

  • Allegra K. Troiano
    May 5, 2023

    Pat was such a great mentor to many of us. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and so welcoming to me when I joined the NPCA board. She will be greatly missed by many. My condolences to her family!

  • Margaret Riley, RPCV Colombia, 1973-75, founding member and past president, NPCA
    May 5, 2023

    I’ve known Pat for decades through our work with RPCVs. Her dedication and commitment to the PC and RPCVS was indefatigable and an inspiration. To learn of her passing was a shock, but the manner of her passing, while attempting a challenge that would be daunting to others of her age, was befitting of someone whose spirit had no limits. This is a tragic loss for the RPCV community.

  • Kay Hetrick Kessel
    May 6, 2023

    I was so shocked to read about Pat Wands ‘ passing! She has been my connection to our former volunteers in Colombia VIII. I was with Ginnie Selle Deason in Colombia and 10 years ago in Berkeley , we had a dinner at my daughters home. Pat made everyone feel like you were her best friend. What a life she had and I want her family to know how she connected to so many of us to be part of the former Peace Corps family and to feel valued for those Peace Corps years!!! I hope to see many of you in Albuquerque in September!

  • Corinne Scott
    May 6, 2023

    Dear Friend, Pat, How we will miss you! You have been a good friend since 1994, when my brother and your Peace Corps colleague, Jack Swenson, introduced us at American University, when we were spending a sabbatical year at Wesley Seminary next door, on leave from our teaching and women’s organizing in India. Since then we have shared many common concerns have had a variety of adventures together when you served in Dubai and when we introduced you to some of the delights and dilemmas of our life in India. You have left a wonderful legacy through your tremendous efforts and organizing abilities to bring to fruition your dream of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience.

  • Kristina & Art Aaronson
    May 7, 2023

    Pat became a close friend o fArt’s and mine when we first met in Dubai, U.A.E in 2007. We discovered we had much in common including Peace Corps, librarianship, Unitarians, and Latin America. Pat hired me for a part time position as a Reference Librarian at Zayed University where she was Director. That became one of the most memorable life experiences at the end of a long career in libraries.. We socialized, took weekend trips together and when we returned to the US we remained close. Pat visited us at our mountain home in Rochester and we saw her often when we traveled to Washington DC to see Hayden and his family. She came to Asheville and sat on our couch relating her entire first trip on the Camino as she showed us the photos.I am glad we spoke to her the week before she left on her second Camino hike. We will never forget the vibrant person Pat was – her energy, enthusiasm, adventuresome spirit, and her many accomplishments. Who will we have now to reminisce about our “fairy tale” life in Dubai together? Our world has shifted without her…

  • Sue Dwyer
    May 7, 2023

    Regrettably, I did not know Pat, but RPCV Maura Fulton (and fellow Camino tribe member) shared the news of her passing and noted “she was a force in the RPCV community and championed all things Peace Corps.” I am currently the Country Director of Peace Corps Morocco (RPCV Uganda 1992-1994), and will start the northern Spain Camino next weekend. After reading these tributes, I hope to embody the spirit of Pat during my Camino.

  • Maricarmen Smith-Martinez
    May 8, 2023

    In memory of a beautiful soul… Pat Wand was everything, everywhere, all at once. If there was an initiative to support the Peace Corps community, you could bet that Pat was somehow involved! From her service as a PCV to staff to a lifetime of involvement with Friends of Colombia and NPCA, contributing in countless ways, to her transformational leadership of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience—Pat leaves a legacy as a stalwart champion of the Peace Corps. Between the time devoted to her travels, her large family, her active engagement in her church and local community, I never quite understood how she did it all. She was the epitome of grace and elegance and kindness. She remains a woman of wonder and might, and I am grateful to have known her and to shine her light.
    Pat, I will miss dinners in your lovely home, our chats about all things Peace Corps and beyond, trading relationship stories, travel adventures, mental health support systems… but most of all, I will miss your guidance and mentorship on life itself—and how to live it well. Thank you for the many gifts you have left to me and to all those in our Peace Corps community. Rest in peace, dear friend. Your light shines bright.

  • Frank Mitchell
    May 9, 2023

    A shining star and a great person who had the organizational knack and the personal touch and enduring energy from which we all benefit to this day and beyond.
    Thank you , Pat

  • John Rude, RPCV Ethiopia/Eritrea, 1962-664
    May 9, 2023

    I am arriving late to this memorial, partly out of shock at this sudden loss, and in part because I’m working on the many tasks I volunteered for – all to realize our mutual vision for the Peace Corps Museum. The amazing variety of responses (45 so far) says a lot about the impact Pat had on people. Her grace, intelligence, and willpower combined as a powerful force for good. I’m thankful not only for Pat, but for all the friends she introduced me to. There is only one way to end this note: with her favorite closing to emails. “Onward and upward.”

  • Ali Kahn
    May 10, 2023

    As we members of the MPCE committee anticipate our first monthly Zoom meeting without Pat tonight, I’m picturing a big gaping hole amid the rows of little boxes where Pat’s face would and should be. Reality has not yet supplanted disbelief.

    On some level, I think maybe she knew. And so she had been preparing, stepping back, reclaiming precious time. Pat made it to her mountaintop, even if she didn’t complete the journey. She took her leave from this life with sights set on the horizon: the last leg of the challenging physical and spiritual path—El Camino de Santiago, at 80 ever the adventurer and now a pilgrim.

    Hers was not an untimely death: it was her time. (Of course, too soon for the many she left behind and with good work left unfinished.) But as Pat was a maestro of life, so she orchestrated an amazing grand finale both tragic and kind of perfect. And so I say, with a mixture of sadness and awe—brava, maestro. Wishing you peace on your camino. I will miss you.

  • Jeremiah Norris
    May 16, 2023

    Jerry Norris
    May 16, 2023
    Jerry Norris

    My founding memory of Pat was in our first encounter when she had the role of getting Vols together to celebrate the Bull Fights during the Christmas Season in Cali, 1964, Colombia. There , in youthful enthusiasm, with our hearts into the highlands, we danced through the night to the teasingly expressive beat of the bambuco–all entwined in a
    Hemingwayesque euphonic moment of a memorable time. Then, down through the decades of haste and noise, we
    often found ourselves working collaboratively on many projects, often via the FOC. While I often disagreed with a
    proposal set forward by Pat, when it came time to vote, I’d look to see where her vote was being cast, saying to myself: if Pat is for it, then it must be the right thing for us to do–and vote accordingly.
    Let’s celebrate Pat’s life of meaning and purpose and be grateful that she walked among us–and her presence continues to be found in our own time on planet earth.

  • Terri Salus
    May 23, 2023

    I have known Pat for many years and because she lived near me, I got to see her frequently. The last time was to drop off a package someone left with me for the MPCE. Before that, last Fall, we spent an afternoon together at the Kennedy Center for the premiere of the Miss Lillian movie (an event Pat coordinated). And during COVID, Pat gave me a curator’s tour of the Peace Corps 60th Anniversary exhibit at the American University Museum; although she was not credited, I believe that Pat, as the project manager, was largely responsible for the excellent exhibition catalogue (that may still be available at the AU Museum).

    I am looking forward to attending the June 2 tribute for Pat in Washington, D.C. But before the gathering, I hope to watch “The Way,” a 2010 film directed by Emilio Estevez, that was re-released last week and is available via Amazon Prime. The movie is about a California doctor (Martin Sheen) who travels to France to retrieve the body of his estranged son (Emilio Estevez), who died while attempting to walk the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), a centuries-old pilgrimage that begins in France and travels over the mountainous Spanish countryside to Santiago de Compostela (Cathedral de Santiago). In an effort to understand himself and his son, the father decides to undertake the journey, spreading his son’s ashes along the way. During the 500-mile trek that typically takes about 40 days to complete, the father confides in other pilgrims/travelers, all of whom begin to heal as hidden hurt and grief is shared with the others. Terri Salus, Peace Corps Honduras 1978-1980

  • Lucinda and Donald Joel Wingard
    June 4, 2023

    We were delighted to become acquainted with Pat on a Peace Corps Next Steps outing in Guatemala. She enriched the experience beyond our expectations. What a good and impactful life she lived!

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