June 14, 1947 – March 27, 2021
Patricia Lee Fosness passed away peacefully, surrounded with loved ones on March 27, 2021 at her home in Broomfield, Colorado after a four year struggle with dementia.
Patty was born on June 14, 1947 in Culver City, California, first daughter of John and Laurel Fosness. Patty’s first eight years in Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades, California with her parents and younger sister Nancy were very happy ones. The family moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1955. During her youth, Patty enjoyed camping and outdoor life with her family and the Girl Scouts, art and music, and volunteer work with youth and people with disabilities. Patty always went out of her way to befriend others whom she sensed were excluded from the mainstream. After graduation from Upper Arlington High School in 1965, she attended college in Missouri, before transferring to the University of Minnesota in 1967 to study philosophy and religion. Her love of art won out, however, and she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1975. She was married to Richard Wick of Minneapolis for seven years. Through her work in the Solid State Division of Honeywell in the late 1970s, Patty discovered an aptitude and interest in business and finance. She was transferred to Colorado Springs in 1985 and completed her MBA in Finance at the University of Denver in 1990. Patty worked in financial analysis and planning in the private and non-profit sectors, retiring from planning and analysis management at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2014.
Throughout life, Patty pursued a wide range of interests with passion, whether it was politics or sports. She most enjoyed camping and bicycling trips, travel, skiing, and hiking in the mountains. She was happiest immersed in natural settings. These experiences renewed her interest in art, and she painted many stunning seascapes and landscapes in her last 30 years. Patty loved animals, wild and domestic. Her cats, especially Tigre, her last, were her most cherished companions. Always generous with her time and resources, Patty volunteered regularly to help elders in need.
2015 was a special year when, after years of searching, Patty and her daughter Hilary found each other. Hilary was born in 1967 when Patty was nineteen and adopted by Maeva & Bruce Harris. It was a special reunion, and the Fosness family embraced Hilary immediately. Patty was delighted to discover that her daughter had become a beautiful and accomplished mountain climber and business woman, raised by loving parents who welcomed Patty and the Fosness family into their lives.
Like her mother and grandmother, Patty was a spiritual seeker; religious study and prayer were central to her life. For many years she was a member of the Baha’i Faith and the Self Realization Fellowship. Patty shared a spiritual bond with her mother, and their sacred retreats together were especially meaningful. Patty ultimately found her spiritual home with the Coal Creek congregation of the Jehovah Witnesses in Broomfield, Colorado, where, she said, “It’s like being in Heaven.”
Patty was generous and loving by nature and will be deeply missed by all those whose lives she touched. For the last two years of her life, she was able to remain in her home with an amazing team of caregivers, whom she loved like sisters. This made a huge difference during the pandemic, for they made Patty feel happy, secure, and loved, and they became the vital link between Patty and her sister Nancy living in Vermont.
Patty leaves her sister Nancy Gallagher (and husband Connell) of Underhill Vermont, her daughter Hilary Harris of Niwot, Colorado, her uncle Bruce Bixler and cousin Caroline Beverstock of Atherton, California, cousins Shirley Curtis, Ross May, and Peggy Rislahti and their families from Victoria, BC, as well as more distant cousins throughout the U.S. She was predeceased by her parents John and Laurel Fosness of Columbus, Ohio, and by her aunt Margaret May and cousin Gordon May of Victoria, B.C.
As she wished, Patty will receive a natural burial, handled by The Natural Funeral in Lafayette, Colorado. She will be laid to rest in the wildflower meadow at Seven Stones in Littleton, Colorado.
We wish to express our deep gratitude to Sandy Tobin, Patty’s co-guardian, her assistant Rita Nolan, and Patty’s team of expert caregivers from Tailored Lifestyles, BrightStar and Live, Love, Laugh, who maintained Patty’s health, good looks, and happiness for two years. We also wish to thank TRUCare Hospice, who provided comfort and guidance during the last year of her life.
To honor Patty’s life, please do something special to help someone in need. Those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the Christian Appalachian Project (www.christianapp.org), the Jehovah Witnesses (www.JW.org), or the Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org).