Caring, Dedicated Teacher

Pat passed quietly, surrounded by loved ones, on August 13, 2019, at Humber River Hospital. She was born on July 18, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She was the product of the union of Philip Bolton Paterson, of Hamilton, and Charlotte Lillian Patterson (nee McGruder), of Toronto. Both her parents were descendants of the Underground Railroad. Pat was predeceased by her mother, father, younger brother, Paul Edward Patterson, of Toronto, and her beloved shih tzu dogs, Brutus and Sasha. Pat attended elementary school at Givens Street Public School and later, Parkdale Collegiate Institute for Secondary School, both in Toronto. After relocating to Winnipeg, Manitoba, she attended the University of Manitoba, receiving a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education. She commenced her employment at Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, in Manitoba, as a teacher, living on the Reserve, and rising to serve as Principal of the high school. She returned to Toronto in 1986 to care for her ailing mother, working in several Toronto schools as a teacher until her retirement. She retired in 2011 and continued as a regular substitute teacher at Northview High School, North York, Ontario, until her final days. Pat was an avid historian and community activist for both First Nations and descendants of the Underground Railroad. She held posts on numerous non-profit organizations, served as the Executive Director of the Ontario Native Council of Justice, was a founding member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) Canada and the Underground Railroad Descendants Association (UGRD). In 1997, her one and half decades or research tracing her family genealogy culminated in “The Tree of Freedom” project, which received critical acclaim as it traced the struggles, journey, accomplishments and historical contributions of her ancestors over 200+ years to the present. She was a highly regarded authority on Canadian black history, having written, edited and been a regular contributor to numerous editions of Canadian history school textbooks to ensure accuracy and acknowledgement of the role of Canadian blacks. She was an executive member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), in Canada, and for years an active executive member of the Order of the Eastern Star of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Province of Ontario & Jurisdiction. She leaves to cherish her memory her only son, Gary Wayne Gabriel Patterson, her brother, Roger Philip Patterson, her twin granddaughters, Cassandra Lillian Patterson and Breann Patricia Patterson, her nephew, James Edward Roth of Virginia, and her beloved god-daughter, Cathie Bell. There are also many nieces and nephews, cousins, colleagues, co-workers and a wealth of friends. A Memorial/Celebration of Life service will take place on Saturday, September 21, at Cardinal Funeral Home located at 366 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from 1-3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society or Heart & Stroke Foundation will be appreciated.


September 21, 2019
Cardinal Funeral Home - Bathurst Chapel
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM


September 21, 2019
Cardinal Funeral Home - Bathurst Chapel
02:00 PM

Burial / Entombment / Cremation


July 20, 2021
Fern Beaulieu-Robertson
"Miss Patterson" taught me in high school. She pushed me to go forward with my education. I visited her once in Toronto and she welcomed me like I was family. I was thinking about her, and today I decided to do a search. I am saddened to read about her passing last year. I loved her dearly and she mad such a positive impact on my life.
September 18, 2019
Heather Byrnes
I taught with Pat in her final years of full time teaching at Northview, and remember fondly her joyful personality, her carefree silliness, her love for her subjects and students, and how she always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room in conversations with her. I loved that massive water bottle she carried around, her stories about her granddaughters, and hearing about and then seeing the craft and art projects she worked on. She was so talented, so worldly, and so interesting. She was silly and funny, creative, and frankly, particular -- she had high standards for her students, was highly respected and loved by them and her colleagues, and her passing is an enormous loss to her co-workers, her friends, former students, and especially her family, whom she loved so openly and held so dear. My deepest and sincerest sympathies to each of her loved ones. I look forward to celebrating the life of this exceptional woman this weekend. Rest in peace, Pat. I will miss you, and always remember you.
September 01, 2019
Robert Hilson
I wish the family well on going forward with the same courage and love for life that Pat shared with us at C.W.J.
August 30, 2019
Jennifer Matarazzo
My condolences to Pat's family. Pat was a lovely person and she will be greatly missed by everyone at C.W.J. Rest in Peace Ms. Patterson
August 25, 2019
Saraya Elwin
My condolences to the family and friends of Pat. I got to know her as a supply teacher at C.W. Jeffreys C.I over the last 3 years. She was a great teacher and was always willing to assist in other activities at the school. She will definitely be missed by me and other staff at C.W.J May God grant you all the strength and the courage to deal with this loss.. Rest in Eternal Peace Ms. Patterson...