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Obituary of Patricia L. Richards
May 1, 1950 – September 27, 2023
Patricia Richards lived life on her own terms. Her passions included art, music, gardens, delicious food, literature, fashion, fitness, hiking, and most of all, family and friends. Singing and dancing with siblings and friends was a joy throughout her life and is a significant family legacy. Most of all, she will be remembered for her intelligence, humor, and the unique aesthetic and style that is a hallmark of her life: “A bit of rock‘n’roll and a lot of designers!”
Fitness and outdoor fun were fixtures on Patricia’s agenda. Along with regular workouts, she enjoyed runs around Capitol Lake, up the hill climb, and around the Capitol grounds—always attired in black Lululemon. She loved weekly walks with friends year-round and hiking with her Tuesday group.
Patricia looked forward to annual getaways with friends at Olympic National Park. She visited Hungary just months after The Wall came down, and 20 years later after its return to glory. She adored lingering in the cafes, shops, and museums of Paris. The only place she ever became lost was—appropriately—in the Louvre.
Over the years, she brought new life into her bungalow with strategically placed glass block, a remodeled kitchen, and a luxurious new bath. Her home evolved into a time capsule of curated collectables. An Oriental-themed rug grounds a satiny cream sofa and glass coffee table, lit by vintage brass rams-head lamps. Art and books surround the fireplace. A large TV is at the ready for films, The Morning Show, the latest news. All who spent time there relaxed into the refinements of a life well-lived and loved.
Patricia was an adventurous cook. Eager to play with flavors, she scoured specialty markets for new ingredients and flavors. Her imaginative and healthful meals varied with the season, from colorful summer vegetable dishes to an English Christmas pudding wrapped in suet and cheesecloth to homemade bone broth for a sick friend.
Whatever her destination or activity, Patricia emanated a relaxed, uncluttered elegance. While she’d pair a Burberry coat with cashmere and a designer bag, she’d also easily team it with blue jeans and a “find” from TJ Max.
Patricia was renowned for her devotion to Hamlet, her miniature pot-bellied pig, who lived with her for nearly 15 years. When the vet advised her that putting a ring in Hamlet’s nose would stop him from rooting in the garden herbs and peonies, she took her old wedding ring to the jeweler for an adjustment.
Patricia was born in Washington, D.C. Her father’s Air Force career took the family to many locations, and eventually to their final home in Spokane, Washington, where Patricia graduated from North Central High School. She achieved her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors from Washington State University, and moved to Olympia, Washington, where she began her 30-plus years career in public service with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She retired in 2011, having led the first highly respected Decision Support Team in her role as Office Chief for the Aging and Disability Services Administration. Patricia was deservedly proud of her contributions to meaningful policy and human services.
She was predeceased by beloved father, James; sister, Allyn Marie; and brother-in-law, Robert. Survivors include treasured mother, Mary Lou of Spokane; brother, James of Spokane; sister, Catherine of Portland, Oregon; nephew, Joshua; and an abundance of loving friends and admirers.
Patricia and her family are grateful to Dr. Min Kang and staff of Vista Oncology, Dr. Andrew Coveler of Fred Hutchinson, Providence St. Peter Hospital third floor nursing and palliative care professionals, Assured Hospice, Comfort Keepers Home Care, and many friends who loved and supported her.
A private celebration of life will be held in November.
Patricia’s remembrance charities are:
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