Patricia Tracey Talkington
1939 - 2021
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Talkington, Patricia Tracey March 15, 1939- January 9, 2021 Patricia Tracey Talkington, sweetest sister, most fun aunt, favorite grade school teacher, avid antique collector, loving friend and wife passed away peacefully on January 9, 2021 following a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Patty was born March 15, 1939 in her longtime home of Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was the fourth child of Madeleine and Roche C. Shehan. Patty was the baby of her family and was known for her kind heart and joyful spirit. She attended St. Thomas High School where she was a cheerleader. She attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington before transferring to Sienna Heights College in Adrian, MI, from where she graduated and entered the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, taking the name Sister Therese Lisieux, the "little flower". Patty left the convent prior to taking her final vows and returned to Ann Arbor where she continued a 30-plus year career as an elementary school teacher in the Ann Arbor public schools, mostly teaching first and second grades at Angell School. Blessed with a nurturing soul, Patty excelled at her craft and was adored by her students. During this time she developed a passion for early American antiques and a love of golf. Patty and her husband, Denny Tracey, built a renowned collection of their own during their decades as antique dealers. Patty would traverse the Midwest and Northeast with her cousin, and dear friend, Polly Minick, looking for the perfect pieces to add to her collection. She cherished these trips and her annual "business" trips to New Hampshire and Maine each summer with her sisters. After she and Denny divorced, Patty was touched by fate and reconnected with Tom Talkington, then a widower, whom she had first met years before at the Washtenaw Country Club where she was a member and he was the head golf pro. They soon fell in love and were married, splitting time between their home Port St. Lucie, Florida and Jackson, Tennessee before Tom passed in 2015. By then, aware of her Alzheimer's, Patty moved to San Antonio, Texas, where her sister, Greta, lived and resided at The Village of Incarnate Word until she passed. Patty was preceded in death by her husband, Tom, and her parents, as well as, her brother William Roche Shehan and her sister Greta Shehan Broderick. She is survived by her sister Kay Shehan of St. Louis, niece Carla Broderick of Los Angeles and nephew, Peter Broderick of San Antonio, his wife Laura Broderick and children Will and Kate, as well as, her cousin, Polly Minick, of Naples, Florida. Patty was a bright ray of sunshine who blessed all who were fortunate to meet her with her warmth and kindness and she will be deeply missed. A celebration of Patty's life will be held in Ann Arbor at a later date once conditions improve. Our family would like to thank the numerous loving caregivers at the De Matel House of The Village of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Sisters Care, and Accountable Aging that helped provide Patty with the most loving and compassionate care. Patty loved animals and had many wonderful pets whom she adored; in lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, Michigan or The Humane Society of St. Lucie County, Florida. You are invited to sign the Guestbook at Arrangements with PORTER LORING MORTUARY 1101 MCCULLOUGH AVENUE SAN ANTONIO, TX 78212 - (210) 227-8221

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Published in Ann Arbor News from Apr. 30 to May 2, 2021.
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3 entries
May 7, 2021
RIP Dear Friend, Miss You Terribly!
Polly Minick
Polly Minick
May 6, 2021
Janet Ammann
May 2, 2021
In first grade, Mrs. Tracey was struggling to pronounce my Korean name. I told her simply that it was like "yun" but to pronounce with a "h" in front. Obviously that was something that she would have already known, yet she still beamed at me and thanked me on how helpful that had been.

That summer, I wrote her many letters and cards, and many summers after that as well. She would always reply and I looked forward to getting her responses. I still cherish them to this day.

One summer, she promised to show me a drawing of Angell that had been made just for her. When I visited her classroom the next semester, she handed me the drawing without thinking twice, saying that she thought it would have more meaning to me than it did to her. I was 8, but even then I couldn't express just how kind that was of her. I took it and promised to keep it safe. 20 years later it came with me all the way to Amsterdam and still sits on my shelf. It is my most prized posession.

In 3rd grade, I was asked to give a speech for Mrs. Tracey's 30th teaching anniversary at Angell. I remember feeling so honored. Out of all of the students, and the small few that had been selected to write letters, they wanted me, of all people, to be the only person to read my letter out loud. I tried very hard not to cry that day at the podium. Even as a 9 year old, I knew she had touched my heart.

In the winter of 2004, I moved back to Korea after spending 7 years in Ann Arbor. After signing a card my friends had made for me, she hugged me tightly and said, "Please remember you will always have a home here". I had a hard time adjusting in Korea. It took me more than 4 years to properly blend in. And everytime I felt rootless and like an outsider, I would think of that quote and smile in comfort.

In 2015, I had the chance to visit Ann Arbor again for the first time in 7 years. Most of my childhood friends had moved out for jobs, yet there was still something quite welcoming about the city and the people that were left. After 11 years in Korea, there was still a home for me in Michigan. She had been right.

I always dreamed of meeting her again someday and tried reaching out countless times over the internet. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. However I know that her kindness, the lessons she taught, and her selflessness will live on forever in my heart and in the hundreds of others that have been priviledged enough to have her as a teacher. Thank you for everything you have brought to this world and you will be dearly missed.

- Anne Lee, Mrs. Tracey's first grade class (1999)
Anne Lee
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