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