Educator, mother, mentor, wife, leader, sister, auntie, mother-in-law, commissioner, crafter, grandma, and friend. Patricia "Patty" Ann Park passed in peace, surrounded by the love of family on March 19, 2021 at the age of 76. Her courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) illustrated her bravery in facing life’s challenges with a smile and an unwavering faith in God. Despite the numerous challenges that ALS presented, Patty persevered with purposeful living, a peaceful heart and as a devout Catholic.
She was born to Robert and Marion Gaugler on December 21, 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. She was the firstborn daughter of two and adored her sister Barbara. She grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut and attended St. Mary’s grammar school then Sacred Heart Academy in Stanford, Connecticut. Patricia had an enduring love for Asian culture and art and chased her dreams to get closer to Asia by moving to Hawai’i. She attended the University of Hawai’i and earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1972. While working at the St. Francis Hospital she met her loving husband to be of 49 years, Harry. Together, they had two children Thaddeus and Heidi and a granddaughter Aria, who was the apple of her eye.
As a lifelong learner Patricia received her professional diploma in elementary education, her masters in elementary education, and a second master’s in education administration from the University of Hawai’i.
She was a wonderful stay at home mom until both of her children began school and then dedicated 35 years to the Department of Education. Pat began her educator career as a teacher at Castle High School and then became a resource teacher for Windward District. She took on the role of Vice Principal and then acting Principal at Moanalua High School, Vice Principal of Mililani Middle School, Principal of Aliamanu Middle School, Complex Area Superintendent, North Central District and finally Assistant Superintendent at the State Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support prior to retiring in 2014. Upon retirement she devoted herself to her greatest role as full time grandma and life teacher to Aria.
Mixing career, family, and friends she found another lifetime passion in Delta Kappa Gamma "DKG". Patricia became a member of the Epsilon Chapter in 1985. Throughout the years, she presented at numerous Beta Beta State Leadership and DKG Society International conventions across the United States and internationally. A few highlights of her time spent in DKG was being the Beta Beta State president and Southwest regional director. Her greatest reward came from the friendships and connection she made with her DKG sisters.
Patricia had an uncanny ability to find happiness in her daily activities. Her infectious smile and cheerful personality were contagious to everyone she encountered. She embodied the "Aloha Spirit" and spread it wherever she went leaving a trail of chocolate macadamia nut candies and handmade yarn crafts. She also enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, creating delicious meals and baking for her family and friends. She made enough food to feed an army for a small number of guests. Her intentions were that no one left empty handed and always had leftovers to bring home. She loved trying new dishes and cooked authentic dishes from cultures around the world; Chinese, Greek, Japanese, German, Hawaiian, Korean, Filipino, Italian, and everything in between. Her favorite meal to prepare for the family was a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings. She followed and tweaked recipes that her treasured Grandmother passed on to her.
Patricia was a skilled crafter and filled her home and the homes of many friends and family with beautiful crochet, knitted, needle point, Sachiko, and latch hook creations. Sitting on the couch in her special corner seat with a cup of coffee and crafting for hours was her happy place. As a lifelong educator, she passed down her crafting skills and technique to her daughter, granddaughter, and any friend willing to learn!
Patricia enjoyed life to the fullest! She traveled the world as an educator, as a commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and for enjoyment with family and friends, she and Harry shared many adventures and especially loved the various cruises they took with Harry’s Farrington High School classmates. She also loved attending social gatherings, sharing meals, and walking at the mall for exercise with her friends. Some of her favorite things include Harry’s kimchi, jewelry, butterflies, snowmen, purple, coffee, chips, crispy pork skin, sweet white wine, and margaritas!
She presented all over the world on topics such as global leadership, leaders of leaders, butterfly effect, purposeful living, longevity, and legacy.
She is survived by her family including a son-in-law Rick, quite a few nieces, nephews, and friends.
"You learn every day until you go to heaven." – Patricia Ann Park
Please join us for an open visitation on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Valley of the Temples Mortuary, main chapel from 5:00pm and in a virtual live stream service on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 11:30am.
Arrangements Provided By: Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary
Notice #: 0001322411-01