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In Memoriam: Patsy McKeown

AG Bell remembers Patsy McKeown.

Lea en Español

By Lisa A. Goldstein

(photo: group luncheon; Patsy McKeown is in front)

Patsy McKeown’s passing on December 4, 2022 at the age of 97 marks the end of an era. She may have been the next to last surviving charter member of the Oral Deaf Adult Section (ODAS) of AG Bell. She inspired and mentored many, and left an admirable legacy.

A medical illustrator by profession, McKeown’s creativity knew no bounds. She made, designed, and repaired things around her house, including furniture, rugs, murals, and her garden. An avid tennis player, McKeown played until she was 80 years old. She was also a synchronized swimmer.

AG Bell members who were lucky enough to know her called her beautiful inside and out. She was a role model who spoke very well and treated everyone as equals, said Penny Atlee, who remembers her coming to a CID reunion in the mid 60s to talk about ODAS with Richard Zellerbach, another charter member. Atlee promptly joined.

Karen Kirby described her as the “sweetest, kindest, most compassionate, and beautiful woman loved by her family and friends.” Kathleen Treni called her “regal and diplomatic, and a real lady.”

McKeown came from a large family and was the only one who was deaf. She married Ed — an attorney who predeceased her – who was instrumental in developing the TTY with Robert Weitbrecht. Of their four children, one was deaf.

Barbara Baer was part of a monthly luncheon group with McKeown and a few other early members of ODAS. They also participated in an annual women’s retreat at the late Darol Nance’s cabin. “I’m grateful that I had this nice and close friendship with her,” Baer said. “I miss her!”

McKeown passed away at home with her family around her and is survived by three children and her grandchildren.

In Memoriam: Patsy McKeown

El fallecimiento de Patsy McKeown el 4 de diciembre de 2022 a la edad de 97 años marca el final de una era. Es posible que sea el penúltimo miembro fundador sobreviviente de la Oral Deaf Adult Section (ODAS) de AG Bell. Inspiró y asesoró a muchas personas, dejando un legado admirable.

Ilustradora médica de profesión, la creatividad de Patsy no conocía límites. Realizó, diseñó y reparó objetos en su casa, tanto muebles, alfombras como murales, y en su jardín. Una entusiasta jugadora de tenis, Patsy jugó hasta la edad de 80 años. Practicaba también la natación sincronizada.

Los miembros de AG Bell que tuvieron la suerte de conocerla decían que era bella por dentro y por fuera. Era un modelo a seguir con una gran capacidad de expresión verbal y trataba a todas las personas como iguales, asegura Penny Atlee, que recuerda que a mediados de la década de 1960 asistió a una reunión del CID para hablar sobre la ODAS con Richard Zellerbach, otro miembro fundador. Penny no tardó en unirse a la asociación.

Karen Kirby la describe como la «mujer más dulce, amable, compasiva y hermosa, a la que amaban su familia y amigos». Kathleen Treni dice de ella que era «elegante, diplomática y una verdadera dama».

Patsy provenía de una familia numerosa y era la única persona con sordera. Se casó con Ed, un abogado ya fallecido, que fue instrumental en el desarrollo del TTY con Robert Weitbrecht. De sus cuatro hijos, uno tenía sordera.

Barbara Baer formaba parte de un grupo de almuerzo mensual con Patsy y algunos otros primeros miembros de la ODAS. También participaban en un retiro anual de mujeres en la casa rural de la difunta Darol Nance. «Me siento muy agradecida de haber mantenido con ella una amistad tan agradable y cercana», asegura Barbara. «¡La extraño!»

Patsy falleció en su casa rodeada de su familia, con los tres hijos que le sobreviven y sus nietos.

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