Patricia Jane Kelly Walker
Pat Walker lived a full and vibrant life for every one of her 98 years. She woke up each morning ready for new experiences, ideas, feelings and relationships. She loved deeply and widely, weaving her life full of friends and family. She and husband Scotty welcomed a wide variety of people into their lives, hosting international students and many others who needed a bed for a night or two. Their house was always brimming with people, laughter, meaningful conversation and good food. Pat was a great cook and fed anyone who came calling. Homemade bread, New England pot roast, lamb curry and home-baked rhubarb pie…Yum!
Pat lived in Salt Lake City for her first decade with her mother Lillian Carey Kelly, father Melville Kelly and sisters Mickie, Sharon and Shireen. The family then moved to Chicago and finally to Seattle when Pat was a teenager. She attended Linfield College, University of Washington and graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Sociology. After a few years of work and travel she earned a degree from Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary and was ordained as one of the first women ministers.
Pat and Scotty married in 1948 and started their family with children Wendy, Mitzie, Doug and Marcus while serving churches in New Hampshire. The family moved west in 1964 to work in churches in the Bellingham area and then in Seattle. After retirement they traveled the country filling in at churches who needed an interim minister. After Scotty’s death in 2008 Pat moved to The Willows retirement community in Bellingham where she lived for over ten years with her cat Heidi, making many close friends, teaching pottery, leading spiritual dance and growing hollyhocks and lupine in her little front yard. She experienced a huge sorrow when her son Marcus died of cancer in 2011.
Pat spent her last eight months in hospice care living at her daughter’s house with her children, son-in-law Carey, grandson Alden, Breanne Gordon and others as caregivers. Her many visitors went away with a smile, warmer heart and usually one of Pat’s coloring book masterpieces. Hospice House gave her a gentle last week until her peaceful death. She is survived by her sister Sharon, children Wendy, Mitzie and Douglas, son-in-law Carey, daughters-in-law Ann and Laurie, grandchildren Erin, Megan, Fawn, Kelly, Alden, Brenna, Reuben and Henry and great-grandchildren Pip, Norah, Finn, Ronan and Lucas. Her spirit lives on!
Pat’s grandson Henry aptly described her as having a “thunderous spirit”. She spoke her convictions and expected others to do the same. Pat didn’t do small talk… She’d ask probing questions and wanted thoughtful answers even if they challenged her existing worldview. She danced her life creatively and wildly with all of us who shared it. Please honor her by speaking your truth, dancing, planting a garden, inviting a friend to dinner, painting or singing with others. Donations in her memory can be made to Free Church Unitarian in Blaine or Whatcom Hospice. Due to Covid, her memorial service on May 1st will be limited to family and very close friends.