Patricia VAN DONINCK

Obituary
  • "Pat was a very nice lady. Sincerest condolences to her..."
    - Terry Gaudreault
  • "We will always remember Joe, Pat and family arriving in..."
    - Gerry and Gail Bascombe
  • "I never met Pat while working at John Abbott College, but..."
    - Barb Hill
  • "I am so sorry for your loss Nora, you have an Angel..."
    - Ginny Frost
  • "RIP aunt Our sincere condolences . Julie (Vogt) Longlade,..."
    - Julie Long ladle

VAN DONINCK, Patricia Ann (nee Vogt) June 23, 1929 January 8, 2018 Born just months before the Great Depression began, Pat's early childhood was marked by poverty. One of her favorite stories to tell was how one day on a busy downtown Detroit street, the elastic on her mother's frayed underwear gave way and they dropped to her ankles. Her mother, Annie, calmly took a firmer grasp of her hand, stepped out of them and said: "Chin up Patsy. And just keep walking." Pat took that advice as a life lesson. Pat earned scholarships to private school and university where she developed a love for theatre. While in New York at Fordham University, Basil Rathbone once said: "That one knows why she is on the stage." Pat did choose to pursue journalism rather than acting but it was at a cast party she met and left with the man who was to become her husband, Joseph John Van Doninck or Joe Van. Pat was Joe's partner during his broadcast career. She negotiated his contracts, managed the finances and was his only date to all the parties that were part of the music scenes of the Detroit, New Orleans and Montreal of the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. Pat did such a good job as Joe's manager that upon his death in 1973, she found that while he had a great credit rating, she had none. Pat won that argument with the bank. She then dusted off her 20 year old B.A. and went back to paid work in order support their five children aged 8 to 18. Pat went on to work in broadcast at both CFCF and CJAD. As a producer, she was involved in all the controversial stories of the day such as the passage of Quebec's language charter, disability rights and access to abortion. Pat moved on to advertising at Ogilvy's and ended her working career back in theatre as staff at John Abbott College. Pat felt fortunate that throughout her life, she was blessed with wonderful friends and as a young widow, even a second love. Pat recently joined her youngest daughter in Winnipeg where she enjoyed taking her granddaughters shopping, out to lunch and dinner and, of course, to the theatre as often as possible. There were some health issues but Pat rallied back each time until this last time. However, she remained a hopeful realist until the end wryly saying: "I hope I live at least long enough to see the plays we have tickets for." While being treated in hospital, Pat went to sleep and just did not wake up. Pat is survived by her five children, Morgan, Peter, Nora, Adam and Kate and her five grandchildren Connor, Travis, Alexander, Maria Maeve and Mercedes Anne. As per Pat's wishes, an immediate cremation took place in Winnipeg while a service and scattering of her ashes will occur at a later date in Montreal. Should anyone want to be kept abreast of these details or simply want to reach out to the family, please contact Kate at [email protected] Should anyone wish to make a donation in her name, these three causes were close to her heart: The Shannon Reynolds Memorial Endowment Fund, in partnership with Ottawa's Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC), supports Canadian female artists through the provision of paid, mentored theatrical internships ottawaartscouncil.ca/.../call-submissions-shannon-reynolds-memorial-endowment-fun...The Ken Kehler Entrance Award which supports Indigenous and Metis first year law students at the University of Manitoba https//give.umanitoba.ca. Or any agency working to support those experiencing homelessness.
Published in Montreal Gazette on Jan. 13, 2018
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