Patricia Lewis

Obituary of Patricia J. Lewis

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Our whole family is sad to announce that on May 30th, 2022, Dr. Patricia Judge Lewis passed away from a short illness at the age of 93. Patsy, as she was known to all, retired at the age of 79 from her 37-year teaching career and professorship at Misericordia University, where she taught Social Work, the field in which she received her Doctorate from Hunter College at CCNY.  Patsy was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the oldest of six, and lived in the area her entire life.  She graduated from Meyers High School and was accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design.  But as she waited for an available space there, she met and married her husband, Dr. Donald B. Lewis, and began a family.  Neither college, career or traveling would happen until she was in her mid-thirties.  

Her children, and her surviving siblings, James, Marie and Priscilla, all agree that Patsy was the quiet warrior.  Despite many obstacles put before her due to the death of her husband at the age of 42, with love and determination she raised six children, owned and managed a Care Home, and completed her education up to the Doctoral level.  She would tell her children that she always wanted to be a War Correspondent, traveling to hot-spots throughout the world, but she fast became enamored with teaching as she made life-long friends there, and was admired by staff and students alike for her easy charm and subtle wit.  

Patsy enjoyed traveling with family, visiting New Zealand, Japan, several islands in the West Indies, Egypt, Mexico and other destinations around the US and abroad.  Much of her travel was to visit her children, grand-children and great grand children.  She was introduced to The Chautauqua Institution, NY, in 1974 by her daughter Pati Piper and son-in-law Steve Piper and continued visiting there every summer, enjoying the high level of cultural engagement and social life found there.  Family would gather there to visit with Patsy to enjoy family discussions, peaceful serenity, engaging lectures, and superb entertainment. But by far Patsy’s favorite pastime was reading fiction, where she immersed herself in complex plots that kept her mind sharp.  She was also an expert Bridge player, and enjoyed playing with friends and family throughout her life.  

Her most endearing quality was her ability to never lose her temper, especially with her children, and to love and support them in all things without reservation.  A deep thinker, she always provided wise and thoughtful advice to family, friends and students.  Her love of every member of her extended family was exemplified by the following: when her grandson Christopher Larsen, a West Point graduate, was assigned to duty in Iraq, Patsy tried to get a visa to go and protect him from harm.  For this her brother renamed her the Avenging Granny. We will all miss the quiet warrior.

She leaves behind her children and their spouses, Pati Piper and Steve, Cynthia Larsen and Mark, Jessica Houlihan, Susan Berthel and Steve, and her son Donald and his wife Catherine along with three grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Donald B. Lewis, her brother, Dr. Francis P. Judge, her sister Phyllis Judge Saldarriaga, and her daughter Marie M. Lewis.


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