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Patricia Doolittle, 85

Patricia Doolittle of Weston died Nov. 9. She was 85.

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Patricia Doolittle: led Saugatuck Nursery School. Contributed photo

In 1933, Patricia was born to Stanley and Noma Edgley in Ogden, Utah. Her brother, Richard, was born four years later.

Patty earned her undergraduate degree from Weber State and her Masters in Education from University of Utah. It was there, at the Student Christian Fellowship house, where she met her future husband, Austen Doolittle. Shortly after they wed in 1956,

They moved to Babylon, New York to start their life together. Patty and Austen spoke fondly of this time when they were beginning their life together and Patty was embarking on her teaching career.

They loved to meet in Manhattan after Austen finished work so they could catch a Broadway show. In 1960, they moved to Bountiful, Uah where David and Kathy were born.

Next, they moved to Seattle, where Alan was born in 1965. In 1966, they settled in Weston where they had their fourth child, Michael, and resided for 50 years.

On the night of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s death in 1968, Patricia, Florence James Shook, and other members of Saugatuck Congregational Church attended a Tougaloo College Choir’s concert in New York City.

Saugatuck Nursery School (SNS) was born on that night when this group teamed up to respond to this tragedy. They formed SNS with the goal of uniting area children to build friendships and learn together, despite racial and economic differences.

In 2002, after 35 years as the director, Patty retired from SNS. She continued on as board chair for the school, remaining dedicated as long as she was able.

As Patty noted in her retirement letter, I am “going to school” not “going to work” because her learning never stopped, be it from her teachers, students, parents, or volunteers. SNS was one of Patty’s greatest loves in life.

After retirement, Patty remained involved with Saugatuck Congregational Church. She taught Sunday School, helped raise money for the reconstruction efforts, and helped to find a home for SNS while the church was rebuilt after the 2011 fire.

Patty also participated in the Norwalk Mentor Program where she was able to continue her work with children, one of her greatest passions.

Patty trained as a Stephen Minister in order to help people, through one-on-one care, who are experiencing challenges in their lives.

In later years, Patty and Austen loved to watch the sunset as they ate dinner at Compo Beach, a place where they had built many memories with their children.

Patty adored spending time with her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. She enjoyed sewing creations for them and decorating their rooms.

She took delight from having her family around: Sunday dinners, breakfasts, making gingerbread houses, or just hanging out. Her life was focused on the people she loved and cared for, especially children.

Even in her final days, Patty’s face would light up at the sound of children’s voices in her presence.

She is survived by her children: David and Sylvia Doolittle, Kathy and Keith Griffin, Alan and Sonia Doolittle, Mike and Margo Doolittle, and Patty’s 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who affectionately called her “Mema.”

Patty’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Saugatuck Nursery School (http://saugatucknurseryschool.org) or the Alzheimer’s Foundation: https://act.alz.org/

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