Mary Pat Boatfield, 64, passed away unexpectedly on June 18, 2014, in Hallsville, Missouri, where she was serving as the executive director of the Central Missouri Humane Society.
Born on December 20, 1949, in Toledo, Mary Pat was the oldest child of Robert F. and Adelia (Riley) Boatfield. She was educated at St. Ursula Academy and the University of Toledo, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education. Before working in Missouri, Mary Pat served as the executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society and the Nashville (TN) Humane Association.
Mary Pat's compassion, tireless advocacy and sense of humor earned her the respect of colleagues and the love of friends and family. She was a national leader in animal welfare education and advocacy, known for addressing tough issues and promoting change to benefit whole communities. For example, she created the nationally-credentialed Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) to respond to Hurricane Katrina and other emergencies such as Hurricane Ike, tornados and the 2010 Nashville flood.
Mary Pat believed in quality of life for everyone, people and animals, and worried about the safety of our food supply. She put her beliefs to work through active membership in professional and community organizations and by volunteering with local homeless shelters in Toledo, Nashville and Columbia (MO), where she spent nights at the shelter assisting with the needs of the less fortunate.
As a daughter, sister, aunt and friend, Mary Pat was both a grounding force and source of light. She pursued her causes with a passion tempered by the reality that it took hard work to create real change. She knew the struggles of life firsthand and believed in the miracle of prayer. She stood by anyone who needed her, as long as they needed her, for whatever they needed. And anyone who wandered into Mary Pat's wide circle knew the light of her Irish smile and the cackle of her laugh. For these, and for so many other reasons, she will be missed.
Mary Pat is preceded in death by her mother, father and brother, Robert. She is survived by her sister, Ann (Dave) Sweeny, Ottawa Lake, MI; her sister-in-law, Donna Boatfield of Carrollton, TX; niece, Rachael (Chris) Baldwin of Dexter, MI; her nephews, J.B. (Lindy) Boatfield, of Atlanta, GA, and Joseph Boatfield of Carrollton, TX, and many great-nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Coyle Funeral Home 1770 S. Reynolds Rd. Thursday, July 10, from 2:00-8:00 p.m. The service will begin in the mortuary Friday, July 11, at 9:45 a.m. followed by the funeral ceremony at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2770 W. Central Ave at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Mary Pat's memory to the Toledo Human Society or St Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Please view and sign the guest registry at
Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd
Toledo, OH 43614
Published in Toledo Blade on June 29, 2014