McCARTHY, Patricia Died February 23rd, 2013 in Victoria Hospice of cancer. Born September 27th, 1936 in Pennsylvania, she grew up a sickly child in Arizona. Always feisty and independent, in her late teens, she drove herself in her own car to Los Angeles, where for the next few years she worked and played hard. In her early 20's, in exchange for good health, she promised God she would become a nun. After 12 years as a Carmelite in California she completed a teaching degree at Seattle University, then came to Victoria and joined the Sisters of St. Ann. For the second time in her life, she acted on a promise, this one to herself. Years earlier in the streets of LA, she had heard the frightened screams of a young girl being abused and had determined to do something for girls in crisis. Accordingly, in Victoria in the early 1970's she founded the Girls' Alternative Program, which still provides education and life skills training for adolescent girls who have lost control of their lives. A short time later, Patricia had her own crisis, this one a crisis of faith. She left the convent in the mid 1970's. However, as a public school teacher she continued teaching adolescents how to make decisions and direct their own lives. After retiring from teaching in her early 60's, she remained active, supporting home schoolers, selling skin care products, and studying both at the University of Victoria and independently the ideas of avant garde thinkers in science and education. Patricia influenced the lives of many young people, who remembered her long after they left her classroom. Her life was a model of what she taught them, namely, to decide what kind of life you want to live and to live it with courage and determination. Patricia is survived by one brother, Terrence McCarthy of Tacoma, Washington, and her sister, Sheila Sackville-West of Indio, California. At Patricia's request, there will be no memorial service. In her memory, you are invited to make a donation to a local charity.
Published in Victoria Times-Colonist from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2, 2013