Peterborough public school board mourns death of longtime board trustee Shirley Patterson

Shirley Patterson, a longtime trustee with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, has died.

The board announced Monday that Patterson died following a heart procedure on the weekend. She was 82.

First elected in 2010, Patterson was serving her third term on the board, representing the townships of Asphodel-Norwood and Havelock-Belmont-Methuen and the municipality of Trent Hills.

“It is hard for me to convey how strongly, both personally and as a board member, we will miss Shirley Patterson in our community,” stated board chairperson Diane Lloyd.

“Her passing, however, is an even greater loss for our students, and especially those students and schools within her constituency. They have lost the most passionate, devoted and tireless advocate that they could ever have wished for.”

Lloyd said Patterson served on “countless” board committees throughout her term and was a dedicated champion of students with special needs and a “staunch advocate” of the board’s efforts to foster student and staff mental wellness.

“Shirley took the greatest pride in highlighting student and staff successes at our board table, and the passion and joy of our students shone through in all her work,” said Lloyd. “I truly believe their laughter and joy enriched Shirley’s life, as she has enriched ours. Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences are extended to Shirley’s family during this time of grief.”

Flags will be lowered at all board schools and facilities to honour Patterson.

“Shirley’s passion and singular commitment was to ensure that each and every student in our care had success placed within their grasp,” said Jennifer Leclerc, the board’s director of education.

“Her care and compassion for all people – not just our students and staff, but everyone who came into contact with her – was a singular quality of Shirley’s. She was incredibly kind-hearted and joyful in all that she accomplished. To know her, was for her to count you as a friend. We all miss her greatly already.”

Patterson is survived by her husband Pat and their family, including 7 children, 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Family, friends and colleagues are invited to attend the visitation at Havelock United Church at 10 Ontario St. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A funeral service will be held at the church on Thursday at 2 p.m.

The board says in memory of Patterson, in lieu of flowers, donations to the Campbellford Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.

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