PATRICIA M. CALIFANO - SHELBURNE - Pat Califano, of Vista Drive in Shelburne, passed away at the Starr Farm Nursing Center on the morning of July 12, 2013. Pat was born in Hartford, Conn., on Oct. 24, 1944, the second daughter of Frank and Florence O'Brien. Pat attended the local schools and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1966. She was a lifelong member of the Delta Zeta Sorority, Gamma Beta Chapter. Shortly after graduation, she came to Vermont to join her sister who was married and living in Burlington. It wasn't long before she found her first apartment at Fort Ethan Allen and employment with the State of Vermont as a Social Worker. In 1974, she met her husband-to-be, Frank, employed at GE, and introduced by a fellow worker. After six months of dating, they were married by a Shelburne farmer/Justice of the Peace, who came in from the fields for lunch. On July 30, 1974, they stood in his living room with his wife as witness and said "I Do". That started a 39 year love affair with the life they modeled for themselves. Electing to not have a family, they went on to raise two riding horses, and always had at least two dogs and a cat. During the latter part of Pat's nineteen year career with the State, she began taking evening classes at St. Michael's College and earned two advanced degrees. She became a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Psychologist. Pat left her employment with the state and opened her own Counseling Practice on Upper Main Street across from the Winooski High School in 1988 and continued until March of this year. Pat was very generous with her counseling skills. When a client would lose a job and health benefits, or come upon other hardships, Pat would continue seeing that person Pro-Bono. At the age of 55, Pat was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
. After surgery and a nine month treatment, she became a Cancer Survivor. At that time, she was asked to become a volunteer counseling other women with similar challenges, and she did willingly. One of Pat's favorite hobbies was attending the Dog Obedience Classes offered by the Shelburne Recreation Department. Pat was a permanent fixture at all the obedience classes often using her dog as a demonstration dog, especially in the first class; she also trained her dogs as Therapy Dogs. On weekends she would often be seen in the halls and room of the FAHC working with her two therapy dogs, Arabella and Adina. Pat was a past member of the Shelburne Planning Commission and All Souls Board of Directors. She was a member of the Vermont Psychologist Association and New England Hypnosis Society. Pat's passing will leave many of us with the feeling of loss, professionally and socially. She will be missed. She leaves her husband and best friend of 39 years, Frank; and in-laws, Connie and Ron Lavallee of Hinesburg; and many nieces and nephews living in Florida, Georgia, New York and Vermont. Pat was predeceased by her older sister, Edwarder. A memorial service will be held at the All Souls Interfaith Gathering on Bostwick Farm Road (just off Bostwick Road), Shelburne, on Sunday, July 28, 2013, at 11 a.m. Please join us. Arrangements are by the Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, 261 Shelburne Rd., in Burlington. Online condolences may be made to www.cremationsocietycc.com.
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