Patricia Ann Wong
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Patricia Ann Wong passed early morning Sunday December 1, 2019 holding the hand of her husband, Willie, in their home in Acton, Massachusetts. Her sons, Jeff and JR were also by her side She was 64 years old.

Pat was born in Durango, Colorado to Dominic and Jane Ornella and attended Durango Public Schools where her mother was a music teacher and her father an administrator. She attended the University of Northern Colorado where she started as a voice music major. She graduated with a degree in education.

She married John Starns, who was later to become a physician in Durango. Before returning to Durango, Pat moved with Dr. Starns to Tulsa, Oklahoma where she taught school while he attended medical school. They later moved to Omaha, Nebraska where Pat continued her teaching career. Their first son, John Richard, was born in Omaha.

In 1990, the family returned to Durango where Pat taught at Mason Elementary. Their second son, Jeffrey Michael, was born in Durango. Pat was widowed in 2002.

Patricia continued her education with night and weekend classes while teaching and earned a Masters of Education Technology Degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and an Administrators Certification from Adams State College. She transferred to Miller Junior High School where she taught Science, Math, and Technology. She retired from teaching in May 2019 after 42 years in the classroom. She often quipped that she had served 15 administrators over the course of her career.

More than a teacher, she was a mentor and confidant for the several thousand students that she interacted with during her career. It usually took an hour for her to walk through the grocery store as she happily visited with the former students and parents that would greet her. We dubbed her "Miller Middle School's Chamber of Commerce." Pat's laugh was infectious.

A great joy in her life was being a Grandmother to Declan and Collins. They filled a special place in her heart.

Pat became reacquainted with former Durango resident Willie Wong, now a Massachusetts architect, during one of his visits to Durango. They were engaged three years ago and spent time together during school vacations, holidays and on long weekends. They communicated long distance every day. In June of this year, they were married in Boston where they began to make their home.

Prior to her marriage, Pat was diagnosed with Cancer. She moved to Boston and started treatment at Boston's Dana Farber Cancer Institute; her cancer stabilized but she died from related complications.

She is survived by her husband, Willie Wong, step-daughters Martine Wong of Cambridge, MA and Jin Wong of Littleton, MA; her son, John Richard Starns, his wife Anne and their daughters, Declan and Collins of Corpus Christi, Texas; her son Jeffrey Michael Starns of Durango; her sister, Alvetta Pendleton of Hawaii; her sister Rose Marie Ornella and her father, Dominic Ornella both of Durango.

Pat could always be counted on by her friends and her family when they needed support or encouragement. She was a generous and giving person and we are thankful for having had her in our lives.

There will be a viewing for those wishing to pay their respects at the Hood Mortuary from 2 p.m to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. Funeral services and burial at Greenmount Cemetery will be private.

In lieu of cards and flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society in her name. Patricia Ann Wong

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Durango Herald on Dec. 3, 2019.
02:00 - 05:00 PM
Hood Mortuary
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Memories & Condolences
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22 entries
June 20, 2020
I met Patricia while she was teaching in Omaha. She was a most inspiring person. The kids at Laura Dodge Elementary loved being in her class. She made a life long impression on many people. Rest in peace, Pat.

Hulen Heard
December 18, 2019
So sorry to hear this news. My thoughts really are with her family at this time.
Kim Benton Watts
December 12, 2019
I'm saddened and shocked.
I am blessed to have known you.
Rest in Peace Pat.
You'll be missed.
Megan and Tyler
December 9, 2019
She was my favorite cousin and a very special lady. We enjoyed talking to one another. She will be missed by so many people. I am sorry that I could not be there for the family. I loved Pete.

MaryAlice Denaro
Mary Alice Denaro
December 8, 2019
Our prayers go out to JR, Jeffrey, and the Starns, Wong, and Ornella families. I was fortunate to be able to work with Pat at Miller for many years and she was a great support and friend. She laughed at all my jokes and always kept me up to date regarding her sons, whom she was very proud of. Pat worked hard for the benefit of her students, advocating for the best possible conditions and resources while being flexible and positive. She reveled in their success. Pat will be missed by all as God blessed us with her life.
Brian & Janet Hester
Brian Hester
December 7, 2019
My mind is swirling with memories of our time in high school. Pete, Anne Halley, and I spent so much time together. I recall the endless hours dragging main. We went to the Four Seasons on the weekends and told our parents we were going bowling. We should have been pro bowlers. The band trips, sleepovers, etc. I truly loved her. Sorry we didn't keep in touch more.
God Bless Mary (Lloyd) Webster
Mary Webster
December 7, 2019
I was so sad to hear the news about Pete! My condolences to her family. My memories of Pete were as childhood friends. Her parents, Jane and Nick, were in a bridge group with my parents, Jim and Dorothy Gore, Ruth and Phil Parkinson, and the Hiners. We spent a lot of time together in those days. Favorite memories of going to Ouray where our parents played bridge and we hung out at the pool. Also, of Jane sitting down at a honky tonk piano and singing "Frankie and Johnie". I have only seen Pete sporadically since high school but she always had such a great laugh, a great sense of humor. RIP Pete, and my prayers are with your family. Evelyn Gore McLaughlin
December 7, 2019
The McCoy family sends our condolences for the loss of Pat Pete . May she rest in the arms of the Lord forever . Duane , Dennis and Darrel McCoy
Dennis McCoy
December 7, 2019
It was a profound sadness when we heard of Pat's passing. Our sincerest condolences to Nick, Willie, J.R., Jeffrey and family on their loss. The camaraderie, quick wit and and total sense of compassion we knew as fellow Durango natives, colleagues, educational teammates, and most of all, true friends will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace, Pete.
Gregg and Debbie (Nichols) Janus
December 6, 2019
RIP, from Roy and Suzy Horvath
Suzy Horvath
December 5, 2019
I enjoyed getting to know Pat during our Cozumel trip together in 2003. My sincerest condolences to JR, Jeff and family.
Marla and Mat (Burnett) Holgate
December 5, 2019
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rory, Kristin and Brandon LeCouvre
December 5, 2019
My condolences to Pat's family. It was a true pleasure to get to know her. I always told her that she didn't work for me but with me when we worked at Walmart together and I was sad when she left because of how amazing she was. Godspeed Pat.
Johnette Maloy-Vick
December 5, 2019
My condolences to Pat's family. She was a wonderful colleague. Rest in peace, dear Pat.
Tiffany Mapel
December 5, 2019
I loved her laugh....she was a great lady. Sending love to the family.
Terri Garcia
December 5, 2019
My heart is heavy with this news. What a joy it was to have you as a colleague in the teaching profession, Pat. I will miss the stories and the laughter that we shared and that fabulous smile. Thoughts and prayers of healing to your family.
Donna Kirby
December 4, 2019
I will never forget our time teaching and laughing together. You were a great friend. She will be missed by millions. Love you bud!
Karen Yoast
December 4, 2019
I will miss you, my friend.
Carol Smith
December 4, 2019
Our boys were so lucky to have you as a second mom. We will always treasure the great memories. Blessings to all the family.
McCaddon Family
December 4, 2019
Nancy McCaddon
December 4, 2019
You will be very missed, Pete! I'm grateful I knew you for so many years. GOD bless you and your loved ones.
Meg Bush
December 4, 2019
I have fond memories of our time in high school. They were great fun. May God bless you Pete.
Love Mary (Lloyd) Webster
Mary Webster
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