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Patricia Wilson, a resident of Ramona for 49 years passed away on January 11, 2022 in her home surrounded by her family.
Born November 3, 1925 in San Diego, to Jesse and Margaret Martin, she was a lifelong resident and proud third generation Californian. She had celebrated her 96th birthday at a long awaited family reunion in Ramona in November. She was widowed in 2011 after over 60 years of marriage and was the mother of 8 children, grandmother of 19 and great grandmother of 29 with two more to be born this year.
Before moving to Ramona in 1973 she had lived in El Cajon for 26 years. She attended Point Loma and La Jolla High Schools and when her youngest child began kindergarten, she began attending Grossmont Community College, majoring in Home Economics. This benefitted her later in life when that same youngest child started college and Pat began her job as Director of the Campo Senior Center. Before marrying in 1950, she had worked at Ryan Aeronautical during World War ll and in the Advertising Department of the San Diego Daily Journal, which later became The San Diego Union Tribune. She counted future editor Neil Morgan as a mentor.
During her life she was both an artist and a writer. Her writing specialty was Haiku and she was published in the Sparks, her writing group’s quarterly publication. Pat always had a story to tell and a piece of interesting San Diego history she was eager to share. She was a voracious reader!
A lifelong activist, she was a member of the Young Christian Workers movement founded by Cardinal Cardijn to improve working conditions for all workers worldwide. In support of Cesar Chavez, she boycotted both lettuce and grapes in her home in the 1960’s. Once in the confessional, the priest started laughing, she had just confessed to stealing a sign, that priest had been with her and the sign said, “no colored allowed”!
At the inception of the Ramona Jr Fair, she once again used her education in Home Economics to make sure Home Economics competition was included in the fair. She handled the entries, admissions of exhibits, secured competent judges, hung ribbons and supervised the building during the fair for many years.
In her later years, she lobbied legislators in support of the Older Americans Act. After her husband passed away, she came up with the idea of having a weekly booth at the Ramona Farmers Market for the Ramona Senior Center, where she sold cookbooks and distributed information about the Ramona Senior Center.
She was an active member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Ramona for 49 years and had been both a religion teacher and the wedding coordinator for many years. She attended her last Mass in person in December.
Even after retirement, both Pat and Don were active members of the Ramona Senior Center. Pat was a member of the Advisory Board and wrote the menus for the lunches. This involved making sure all nutritional requirements were fulfilled and submitting them to the county for approval. She and Don also traveled with the Ramona Ramblers travel group on many fun trips, including a memorable 15 day Hawaiian cruise. She was the first senior to use the wheelchair lift on the newly purchased senior center bus last year! Her last lunch at the senior center was December 23.
After both she and her husband retired, they enjoyed years of traveling together. They traveled from California to New York on the train with stops including Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado and Washington DC. They made annual trips to Ft. Bragg, California for the 4th of July Salmon Barbecue and most enjoyed their two trips to Ireland. Being in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day was an experience like no other! Pat was always up for a road trip and a new adventure. Even in her last years she would make regular trips to Morgan Hill to visit her youngest daughter and son in law and enjoyed weekly trips to the beach with her oldest daughter for a picnic dinner and the sunset.
Pat was an active member of the Ramona art community from taking art classes at the Art Center to being a fixture at most of the art openings from Ramona to Santa Ysabel to Julian. Her smiling face and infectious laugh will be missed at future openings.
Pat believed that it was important for every woman to have a place where she was known not just as someone’s wife or daughter or mother, but known for her own interests, talents and accomplishments.
Survivors include her 8 children, Christine Phillips(Jim)Ramona, Dick(Laurie) Bakersfield, Dennis(Mary)Porterville, Paul(Linda,deceased)Ranchita, Doloris Coit(Randy)Ridgecrest, Helen Wilson(Mark Hutton)Ramona, John(Gayle) Brookside, Utah, Cera Malech(Roger)Morgan Hill. Nineteen grandchildren: Jennifer Johnson(Jay), Robert Phillips, Becki Phillips, Donny Wilson, Jodi Buford(Ritchie), Brian Wilson(Rachel), Lauren Wilson, Trishia Salazar(Todd), Tori Wilson(Brian Pantall), Charles Coit(Shaunna), Jesse Coit(Kim), Lena Childs(DJ), Kyle Wilson(Shelley), Amanda Wilson(Sean), Laura Holmgren(Riggin), Elizabeth Near(Jensen), Erin Van Der Hout(Kees), Elise Sween(Dom), Emily Mankarios(Alex)
Twenty-eight great grandchildren: Isabell and Khloe Johnson, Shawnalise and Colby Phillips, Korynne and Donny Buford, Tatum and Ty Salazar, Tancy and Tavin Pantall, Thomas and Carter Coit, Christopher, Abbagayle, Annalise and Ellie Mae Coit, Arianna and Tianna Childs, Eden, Yeats and Emerson Wilson, Iggy Hadley-Wilson, Lucetta Holmgren, Warren Near, Eleanor and Ezra Van Der Hout, Bettie and Hank Sween, Emilio Mankarios and two more to be born in July and August of 2022!
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 615 E Street, Ramona, CA 92065, and the Ramona Senior Center, 434 Aqua Lane, Ramona, CA 92065
Bonham Brothers and Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is handling arrangements.