Patricia Elwell Graham
1931 - 2013 MANCHESTER CENTER Funeral services for Patricia Elwell Graham, 82, of 59 Bond Street, second grade teacher at MEMS for over 30 years, who died Monday evening, June 3, 2013, at the Mountain View Care Facility in Rutland, will be held at St. Paul's Church in Manchester Center on Monday, June 17, at 11 a.m.
Patricia was born in Schenectady N.Y., in 1931, one of three children of John and Kathleen Elwell. The family then moved to Bennington while Patricia was a young child and remained there through her high school education and her enrollment at the University of Vermont where she majored in Elementary Education.
Throughout the years, Patricia continued her education through college level course work, workshops and conferences.
In 1955, upon graduation from UVM where she was a member of the Tri Delt Sorority, Patricia moved to Manchester and began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Peru. She considered those years, being responsible for teaching grades one through seven, as one of the happiest times in her life.
She married C. Bruce Graham whom she divorced some twenty years later.
In 1962, she began teaching second grade at Manchester Elementary and Middle School where she happily remained until her retirement in 1992. She was a dedicated teacher who went above and beyond her daily duties; opening up her classroom after school hours to speak with concerned parents about their children's progress. Patricia took pride in being at the forefront of computer technology while at MEMS.
Patricia was a founding member of the Manchester chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma teachers' organization, and was instrumental in providing local teachers with professional development, teaching support, and comradeship in the teaching community.
When she retired from MEMS Patricia continued her love of teaching by tutoring children at her home in Manchester. She could remember the name of almost every student she had ever taught. She filled countless hours working on her creative writing, completing several, yet to be published, children's books.
Summer months were spent at Lake St. Catherine, her favorite spot in the world, where her time was spent caring for her only child, daughter Kelli, reading, and attending summer concerts at Tanglewood. She also enjoyed regular trips to New York City to visit Kelli, attend Broadway musicals, museums, restaurants, and shop.
Her numerous friends, former students, fellow teachers and dedicated medical providers will remember the best things about her: the intense spark of her creativity, enthusiasm and wit, her generous nature, and her compassion and concern for others.
Patricia suffered from Alzheimer's and Arthritis which, over time, made her world smaller and more difficult, in turn making relationships with friends and family increasingly difficult. It took away her ability to do the things she loved, and burdened her daily life with numerous obstacles.
Her daughter, Kelli Michaels of Manchester, and her brother, Jon B. Elwell of Masachusetts, survive Mrs. Graham.
Patricia was predeceased by her brother, Dr. Robert H. Elwell of Upland, Calif.
FUNERAL NOTICE: In lieu of flowers the family is asking a donation be made to the Patricia Graham Memorial Fund for the purchase of a bench and plaque commemorating her many years in education.
Checks should be payable to Kelli G. Michaels with a memo on the check reading "For the Patricia Graham Memorial Fund." Mail to Patricia Graham Memorial Fund, atten: Kelli Michaels, 59 Bond Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
Published in The Manchester Journal from June 14 to July 5, 2013