Patricia G. Connors

Patricia G. Connors

October 5th, 1937 September 29th, 2019

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Obituary for Patricia G. Connors (Gormley)

Patricia Gormley Connors, a devoted art teacher who loved her family fiercely, created beauty everywhere, and was the first in her family to attend college, died on Sunday, September 29, 2019 after a brief and sudden illness. She was 81.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island on October 5, 1937 to John and Hilda (Grandfield) Gormley, “Patsy” was raised in South Boston’s Old Colony projects and, later, on South Sydney Street in Dorchester. From her earliest years, Patricia had boundless energy and creativity that she harnessed to create joy for the people she loved, most often at holidays.
As a young woman, Patricia would mix Ivory soap flakes until they resembled whipped cream, a substance her siblings then slathered onto branches to “frost” the family Christmas tree. At Valentine’s and birthdays, she sent handmade cards so lovely that recipients often framed them. Several nieces and nephews received her paintings as wedding gifts that they treasure to this day.
Patricia graduated from Saint Augustine’s School in South Boston in 1955 and received her Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1968, where she won several awards, including the Clarissa Bartlett Major Painting Prize and the Dana Pond Prize in Painting. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University in 1970.
While she was skilled in many media, she most loved oil-based landscapes and portraits. She shared her talents with thousands of children when she taught at the Martin Luther King Jr., Middle School in Roxbury, the Watertown Public Schools, the Waltham Public Schools, Cathedral Grammar School in Boston, Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, The Montrose School for Girls (now in Medfield), and Saint Agnes Elementary School in Arlington.
Patricia also possessed a breathtaking ability to stay positive and calm during stressful or dramatic circumstances. For example, she always maintained that she wasn’t worried when her then-fiancé was an hour late to their wedding. If it turned out he had jilted her at the altar, she often said after the fact, she would have thrown the party anyway because clearly she was better off without him. “Why get upset about something like that?” she asked.
But the tardy fiancé, Brendan Connors of Waltham, Mass., did arrive that fateful September 6, 1968 — he and his mother, Grace L. Connors, had been trapped in traffic on the Southeast Expressway. Together at Saint William’s in Dorchester, Patricia and Brendan started a life full of love, devotion, and lively companionship. They eventually settled in an old farm house in Waltham, Mass., where Patricia used the vines from the grape arbor to make wreaths for the door of their home. The two spent as much time as they could at their cottage on Nantucket, where Patricia rode her bike, took long walks, and painted and sketched the beauty that surrounded her.
After a decade of heartbreaking infertility, Patricia and Brendan welcomed their son, Joseph Michael Gormley Connors, in 1978 and their daughter, Molly Ann Kennedy Connors, in 1981. Patricia taught them to make scarecrows at Halloween and gingerbread houses at Christmas. She aged gracefully and maintained such high energy levels that she’d leave companions exhausted in her wake when bargain hunting at her favorite stores. Upon her retirement from teaching, Patricia devoted herself to the care of her husband until the day of her death, holding nothing in reserve.
She is survived by her husband, Brendan Connors of Waltham, Mass.; her son, Joseph of Los Angeles, California; her daughter Molly of Northampton, Mass.; her sister Janice Rattet (husband Clark) of West Tisbury, Mass.; Kathleen Roche (husband Paul) of Plymouth, Mass; Joan Houton of Bethesda, Maryland; Robert Gormley (wife Tess) of Moraga, California; many nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews; and countless friends. She was predeceased by her brother, John Gormley of Florida.
Calling hours will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 at Keefe Funeral Home at 5 Chestnut Street in Arlington, Mass. A funeral mass will take place on Friday, October 4 at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Agnes Church in Arlington, Mass., across the street from the elementary school where she taught for 20 years. Burial will be private.
This Saturday, October 5, all are encouraged to celebrate what would have been her 82nd birthday by making or appreciating something beautiful or clever, saying an extra thank you the loving and selfless caretakers in their world, and eating a tasty slice of cake.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Keefe Funeral Home - Arlington
    5 Chestnut St.
    Arlington, Massachusetts
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
    4:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, October 4th, 2019 | 11:30am
    Saint Agnes Church
    51 Medford Street
    Arlington, MA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, October 4th, 2019
  • Interment

    Interment will be Private
    Address Not Available

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Eric Johnson

Such a wonderful tribute and beautiful picture of a very full and colorful life. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Comment | Posted at 02:55pm via Condolence

Claire marie Tobin

Laughed and cried reading the words so beautifully expressed about you. Above all love and art brings meaning to our lives & without that, we are lost -Thank you Patsy. Will miss you - from your life long friends - All of The Tobins
Comment | Posted at 11:36am via Condolence

Kathleen Kennedy Hartrey

Brendan, Molly and Joe, we are sadden to hear about Pat. Our prays and thoughts are with you all.
Our deepest sympathy,
Kathleen Kennedy Hartrey and Family
Comment | Posted at 09:27pm via Condolence

Peg Hatfield

My condolences to you and your family, Molly. You will always remember your Mom. Peg Hatfield
Comment | Posted at 07:05pm via Condolence

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