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Patricia A. McLaren

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Patricia A. McLaren In Memoriam
June 16, 2016 Patricia A. McLaren, much beloved by family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, passed away on June 16, 2016 from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. She was at home in Red Rock, New York, where she had lived with her daughter and son-in-law since 2009. Patricia (Pat) was born in Fairchance, PA and grew up in the greater Pittsburgh area. She received a full academic scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, the first of her family to attend college. There she met her future husband, John F. McLaren, with whom she had two children, son Lee and daughter Lynn. In the late 1950's Pat and her family moved to Southern California, where she would raise her children and spend most of her life. Pat loved cycling, hiking, music and dance. In the 1970's she was part of a group that hiked up to Dante's Garden in the Hollywood Hills of Griffeth Park every Sunday, voluntarily maintaining the trail and garden. Pat was also a founding member of Kipseli, a Greek folk dancing club. Although not Greek herself, she had a love for the dance and was a beautiful and graceful performer of the art. She also loved music of many genres and looked forward every year to the Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Professionally, Pat worked in many political campaigns but the job she loved most was at UCLA, where she worked from 1985 until her retirement in 2009, for the Associated Students UCLA (ASUCLA). A constant presence in her office, its door always open, from the morning until late at night she greeted each visitor with a warmth and interest that made them feel as if they were the most important person she would meet that day. No request was too small, no task too insignificant to undertake, often providing counsel to a student far from home and in need of an understanding shoulder or most important, a motherly touch. Her passing has been felt deeply in the ASUCLA community, many recalling the impact she had on their lives when they were young and just beginning to find their way. Pat had a joy and exuberance for life that kept her going through tough times and elevated those around her. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2009, having seen it ravage some she knew, she said, "I just don't want to get mean." She never got mean. She was a joy to be with. She kept a positive attitude in the face of a cruelly debilitating disease. As the disease progressed, she still loved music, she still tapped her feet, she still smiled and she still loved those around her. Pat always believed in the goodness of others and she lived her life accordingly. Her spirit lives on in each person she touched and there is no greater legacy than that. Pat is remembered and missed every day. She is survived by her son Lee McLaren, daughter-in-law Johanna Pfeiffer, daughter Lynn McLaren and son-in-law Maarten Kooij.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 16, 2017
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