Patricia Skinner

Obituary of Patricia M. Skinner

Patricia M. Skinner, 85, avid flower gardener, skier extraordinaire, most beloved Aunt, passed away peacefully in her sleep March 15th, family at her side. Born and raised in Syracuse, where she lived most all her life, Pat was a proud graduate of St. John's the Evangelist, one of the nine parochial schools in Syracuse at that time.

A striking willowy redhead, as a teen Pat was recruited to model the latest fashions for civic events about town for Dey Brothers and Edwards department stores. Pat had a long career as a dental receptionist starting with Dr. Edward McEneny where she eventually managed the practice before working at several other dental offices. She later started a cleaning business which she ran for many years. Pat also worked quietly, without pay, taking care of her elderly neighbors.

Pat loved tending her flower gardens, interior decorating and spending summers on Otisco Lake. She treated her sisters' children as her own. The Spaulding and Thornton clans were lavished with Pat's time, undivided attention, humor and high jinks. There were adventures.

An accomplished skier, Pat often hauled her "kids" along to Song Mountain and Killington Vermont stuffed into her light blue Volkswagen Beetle, John Denver on cassette. She later had a fast and faithful group of expert ski buddies that kept base camp at Labrador and skied together in Colorado, Utah, Vermont, Canada and Europe. Her wardrobe of one-piece ski suits and hats from the seventies is legendary.

Pat's father, Barney Skinner, was a longtime owner of the Rexall Drugstore on West Onondaga Street. Her mother, Anna May, was a homemaker and lover of flowers, inspiring Pat's penchant for getting her hands into the earth. The family spent all summer for forty years renting the "Red Camp" on Otisco Lake. Pat, her sisters and friends were ever in the water or having adventures in their Adirondack guide boat 'Skinner's Folly'.

Pat lived her life with great faith and simplicity, brightening the lives of all who knew her with kindness, generosity and an easy smile, laugh and mischievous sense of humor.

Pat was predeceased by her parents William Barnard and Anna May Skinner, and her niece (and kindred redhead) Kara Spaulding. She is survived by her sisters Nancy Spaulding and Barbara Thornton, eleven nieces and nephews and a bevy of grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.

Godspeed Aunt Pat, to the heavenly slopes, where there is nary a lift-line and always a bluebird powder day. A Mass of Christian Burial, and the burial, will be private. In lieu of donations, please contribute to carrying on Pat's memory by planting your favorite flowers this spring.

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