Obituary of Juliet Boyd Patterson

November 13, 2019

PATTERSON, Juliet Boyd – Julie, 88, died peacefully at home on November 13 after a year-long failed negotiation with cancer. She lived a wonderful life full of excitement, humor, public service, and love. She had a keen eye for the beauty in the arc of a stem, the vibrancy of primary colors, and the verve of Abstract Expressionism. She was deeply humble, always gracious, and saw the humanity in all people. She expressed love through a million small insightful gestures. She treated everyone she encountered with sensitivity, respect, honesty, and kindness. If honesty and kindness came into conflict, she deferred to kindness.

Julie was born in NYC, and attended Brearley School, Westover, and Bryn Mawr, graduating in 1952. She is survived by Dr. Russel H. Patterson Jr., her husband of nearly 64 years, their three children Ritchie, Hugo, and Xander, and five granddaughters. Julie was imaginative and curious, a life-long learner, and an avid reader, especially of The NY Times and The New Yorker. She was our encyclopedia before Google and a crushing, if charitable, adversary in Scrabble and Trivial Pursuits. While devoted to the city, she loved the landscape of Vermont, and beautifully rendered its ferns, grasses, and blooms in pencil and watercolor. As a volunteer at the NY Botanical Garden and lover of puns, she created the "Ferns are Ferntastic" bumper sticker. Always attentive to manners, her harshest expletive was "Igglethorp!"

A believer that "the unexamined life is not worth living," Julie devoted much of her life to making the world a better and more beautiful place. She was an early recycler. As a volunteer, she tutored children in Math and English and served as Chairman of the Board of School Volunteers, which became Learning Leaders. She was a founder of ArtWorks, which introduces New York public school children to fine arts and the city's museums. As a member of the Board of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), she focused on the needs of new mothers and their infants. Her contributions to the health and welfare of others, particularly the children of New York, were recognized by VNSNY with the Lillian D. Wald Award. Service information will be posted when available.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the VNSNY, ArtWorks NYC, or the New York Botanical Garden fern collection.

Saint Thomas Church
Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street
New York City

Saturday, November 30 at 1:30 PM

Directions: Saint Thomas Church, 1 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Funeral Services

Memorial Service

November 30, 2019

1:30 PM

Saint Thomas Church

1 W. 53rd Street

New York, NY 10019

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