Lucille P. Pattison
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PINE PLAINS - Lucille P. Pattison, 77, died June 19 at the Baptist Home in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
She was born in Rochester, N.Y, the daughter of Elliot and Ann Palmer.
After growing up on the family farm, she earned her BA in Government from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and completed further graduate study in Geography and History at the University of Rochester. She taught at Monroe High School in Rochester for six years.
On September 2, 1961, she married Ross L. Pattison in Monroe County, N.Y, and in 1964 they moved to Dutchess County. Mr. Pattison survives at home in Pine Plains with their German Shepherd, Stanzi.
She is also survived by daughters Elise McCormack Pattison and her husband Darren; Julia R. Pittenger, her husband Dan, and their children, Eleanor, Mae, and David; and Lesley R. Sprauer, her husband Karl, and their children, Alexandra and Steven. Her brother, Byron R. Palmer, predeceased her in 2003.
Mrs. Pattison became active in the League of Women Voters and Planned Parenthood in the 1960s and in 1973 was elected to the Dutchess County Legislature from Hyde Park. Re-elected in 1975 and 1977, she served as Minority Leader and then Majority Leader. In 1978 she won a special election for Dutchess County Executive, the first woman in New York State to hold the office. She was re-elected in 1979, 1983, and 1987. She served as president of the New York State Association of Counties and was a delegate to the 1984 and 1988 Democratic National Conventions. Among her many initiatives, were the Resource Recovery Agency, the Human Rights Commission, CASA, and the Dutchess County Executive's Arts Award. She was a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Medal. She retired in 1991, undefeated in any of her races for office.
After her retirement from government, she served many community organizations with distinction, including the Mediation Center as a mediator in Family Court, as a trustee for Vassar and Northern Dutchess Hospitals, as a trustee for Wilderstein Preservation, and as a tutor for incarcerated youth.
Mrs. Pattison was known for her integrity, courage, and generosity of spirit and for an abiding empathy for the downtrodden of our society. Her spirit of adventure led her to extensive world travel. She loved the challenges of her work and treasured her dedicated staff. Many considered her a role model for women in positions of great responsibility and authority.
There will be no calling hours, and arrangements will be private. A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dutchess County SPCA, Grace Smith House, Planned Parenthood of the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Mediation Center of Dutchess County, or Vassar Brothers Hospital.
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from June 21 to June 23, 2013