Patricia Tunison Preston
RED HOOK - Patricia Ann Tunison Preston, a prolific travel writer and enthusiastic advocate of Ireland and Irish travel, died at her home in Red Hook on Tuesday, May 17th, after a short illness. She was 67 years old.
Pat was born on March 18, 1944, and raised in Syosset, New York.
She attended St. John's University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1965 and her Master's degree in 1967.
While in graduate school she visited Ireland for the first time - the first of hundreds of visits there -- and realized her calling. She persuaded the Irish Tourist Board to hire her, its first American employee ever in New York. She was employed there for almost 20 years, becoming its public relations director and travelling extensively throughout Ireland.
While at the Irish Tourist Board, Pat met and fell in love with John Preston; they married in 1983.
In addition to being her husband and constant travel companion, John was Pat's writing partner on several books. Theirs was an extraordinary personal and professional collaboration over a quarter century. John died in December of last year.
In 1985, Pat struck out on her own as a freelance writer. In all, she published 15 travel books about Ireland - the most by any American-born writer. She has written several books for the travel publisher Frommer's, including guides to Ireland and Dublin.
Her other titles include Daytrips Ireland, Ireland Travel 101, and Reflections of Ireland. She also wrote about Ireland for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the New York Daily News, The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.
Pat operated her own website, www.irelandexpert.com
, where she advised and educated travelers looking to explore The Emerald Isle.
When not writing about Ireland, she and John led more than 30 tours there over the past 20 years.
Although she concentrated on Irish-themed travel books and magazine articles, Pat also wrote more than a dozen books about other destinations, including Frommer's guides to Tampa/St. Petersburg and Delaware and Maryland. In 1997, she and John won the Travel Writer of the Year Award from the State of Delaware.
Pat is survived by her sister, Mary Tunison, of Ellington, CT; her sisters-in-law, Kathleen Sabalis of Davidson, NC and Bernice Preston of Hawley, PA; and nephews and nieces Robert Sabalis of Alexandria, VA; John Sabalis of Auckland, New Zealand; Patricia Sabalis of Underhill, VT; Anne Marie McDonald of Davidson, NC; Mary Sabalis of Sevenoaks, England; Kevin Preston of Chester, NY; James Preston of Raleigh, NC; Robert Preston of East Northport, NY; Thomas Preston of Lynnwood, WA; and Katherine Hines of Massapequa Park, NY.
Visitation is at Burnett & White Funeral Home, 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY, on Thursday, May 19, from 7 to 9pm, and on Friday, May 20, from 2 to 4pm and from 7 to 9pm.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at St. Christopher's Church, Red Hook, NY.
For more information, contact: www.Burnett-White.com