Patricia Haas Wolfe
June 15, 1942 - July 9, 2013
Patricia Haas Wolfe, surrounded by her three children and husband, passed away peacefully in Salem, Oregon.
Patricia was a woman with a thirsty intelligence, a scholar in the truest sense, who devoted part of nearly every day to reading books on philosophy, psychology, spiritualism, and Eastern and Western thought. Reading, for Patricia, meant three or four books open around her, the ideas from one sparking connections with another - it was like mental fireworks.
For that reason her art - she regarded herself above all as an artist - goes well beyond the visual, it speaks to those who see it. At one exhibit in Taiwan, eleven of her pieces were purchased, many by colleagues at Taipei American School. As the years went by, a number of these people bought additional works. Upon hearing of her passing, a former colleague wrote, "We just packed three of Patricia's paintings including our favorite, 'Gratitude: In the arms of the gracious mother,' in our shipment to Shanghai. We will always remember her wonderful love of life."
In 2003 the orbit of the planet Mars brought it closer to earth than it had been in eons. For many evenings, Patricia watched the red planet from the balcony of her apartment in Taipei. She expressed her joy in this event with paintings including Rooted in Mars and Dancing with Mars, and a poem she wrote that begins:
after 60,000 years,
because I am made small
in the vast ocean of humanity
a part of all that has been
and all that is to be.
Patricia was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She started college at the age of 28 as a divorced mother of three and became a French and English teacher in Onalaska, Wisconsin and a Title IX coordinator in La Crosse. In 1982, ignoring odds and obstacles that would have discouraged many, she moved her family to Oklahoma to become a voter outreach coordinator for the state. Two years later she moved to Austin, Texas where she worked for a time as a writer for Lady Bird Johnson. Later she became editor and art director of Texas Heritage magazine. It was in Austin that she and her long-time friend, Glenn were married in 1991. He had followed the same migratory route from Wisconsin to Oklahoma then Texas.
In 1992, Patricia and Glenn took a leap together and began a career in overseas schools that included one year at the American School in London, and nineteen years at Taipei American School in Taiwan. Her official title at the school was Communications Officer and duties included the website, an annual report, and a host of other publications. Without a doubt the highlight of her job was design and editing of The Window, a beautiful magazine published three times a year. She derived her greatest satisfaction from featuring children's art in the magazine.
In 2011, she and her husband, Glenn retired to their "River House" in the Cascades of Oregon. But as Patricia insisted, she didn't retire, she became a full time artist. That fall her oil painting, "Reflections" won the Mayor's Award in an exhibit in Salem entitled "Something Red."
Patricia is survived by her husband, Glenn; her children: Lisa Davis (Ben), Kathy Lobdell (Roderick), and John Knebes (Jonette); a stepson, Patrick Wolfe (Karen); her brother Gerald Haas (Mary); and sister Sandra Kevin; and nine beloved grandchildren: Christian, Sawyer, and Takoda Lobdell; Carson and Riley Knebes; Kayla and Julia Wolfe; and Levi and Joshua Wolfe. She was preceded in death by her parents Leonard and Blanche Haas, and stepson Jeffrey Dae Wolfe (Leslie).
A private memorial - Patricia's Art Walk - is planned in Salem. A La Crosse family memorial will be held in September.