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Patricia Anne Bradford Ockene
September 28, 1934 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
Patricia Anne Bradford Ockene, our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, trusted friend and a top-notch bridge player, passed on October 12, 2023. For so many of us, Pat was a fountain of love, support, friendship, and wise counsel; her loss is devasting, but we also celebrate her life and many contributions to the community of Akron which she so deeply loved.
Born in Shanghai in 1934, Pat then moved to India with her family. Upon the onset of World War II, she flew from India to the US with her beloved mother, Helen Bradford, the very first females to make that trip as they were told by the US Army which evacuated them. Ever a woman of grace, Pat came of age in the late 1940s and early 1950s in New York City, was presented as a debutante in Manhattan, and later presented to Queen Elizabeth II. She was educated in New York City in secondary school and college.
Pat married Alan Lawrence Ockene in 1954 in London at the Savoy Hotel. Pat and Alan traveled the world for 30 years thereafter, living together in Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba (at the time of the Castro Revolution), Chile where she became fluent in Spanish, followed by Germany and Belgium, before settling in Akron in 1984 for the rest of Pat’s life.
Pat loved Akron—her friends, her home, her community. She volunteered to help the disadvantaged and worked in suicide prevention. She loved the values of this community and the wonderful people who surrounded her. She had a deep love for all animals, especially cats, dogs, and elephants. Pat raised two dogs and between 15 and 20 cats throughout her life, donating money to charities supporting stray, abandoned and abused dogs and cats. Also, a good athlete, Pat ran track as a girl and was a roller skating champion and in Akron played tennis and golf. She was a great bridge player, loving the friendships and camaraderie of the women’s bridge group at Portage CC. She and Alan hosted weddings, parties and meals for all occasions at Portage for friends and family with such delight. She never missed the 4th of July celebration at Portage, hosting family and friends on the balcony overlooking the 18th green for years, reveling in the company, the fireworks and her love of America.
But what endeared Pat to so many was her deep empathy for people, her intelligence and understanding of all our common struggles in life; she did not shy away from telling you that she had a rough childhood and some challenging patches in her adult life, which fueled an unquenchable desire to help others when needed. She shared wise counsel, enjoyed a good laugh, and always listened with great empathy, bringing fellowship and love to all her relationships especially those who were going through a rough patch of their own.
An egalitarian and humanitarian at her core, Pat treated everyone with goodness, respect and decency; her loyalty and discretion made her a confidant to so many. When things were at their darkest, you could always count on Pat Ockene to help you get through the storm, at all hours of the day and night. No problem was too small for her to help you solve. In her later years, Pat’s children wanted her to move away from Akron and in with them; she did not want to leave the home she so dearly loved. Pat’s unwavering devotion to and support of her friends, acquaintances and this community lasted through the end of her life.
A humble person, Pat always said she wanted her epitaph to read “at least she tried”; we who knew and loved her would tell her that Pat Ockene “succeeded” in the most fundamental way any one of us can in life: bringing unwavering devotion to her family and friends that touched our lives for the better; she was our rock, and she will be so forever.
Pat Ockene is survived by her three devoted children, Brad, Anne (Ockene Boudreau) and Andrew, and their spouses, Nancy Ockene, Rick Boudreau and Johanna Ockene, respectively; her beloved grandchildren who brought her so much love and joy, Lucas Boudreau, Sophia Boudreau, Colin Boudreau, John Williams, William Ockene, Kate Ockene, and Leo Ockene; her beloved sisters, Alicia Bregman and Marcia Bradford, and their children, beloved nieces and nephews; and Joey, Pat’s last cat who slept on her stomach most nights!
A celebration of Pat’s life will occur at Portage Country Club for family and friends on October 19, 2023, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.