Sr Patricia Wilson
Died 19 June 2021
Patricia Ellen was born in Taree on 17th August 19334 to Norman Wilson and Veronica Whalen. Patricia was the fifth in a family of seven children. Her siblings were Mavis, Gladys, Laurie, Mervyn, Margaret and Peter. All predeceased her except for her youngest sister, Margaret.
After her education at the Josephite primary and secondary schools in Taree, Patricia completed her education as a boarder at St Joseph’s College in Lochinvar. There her vocation took root and she entered the Novitiate in 1952, taking the name of Sr Mariette. (After Vatican 11, she reverted to her baptismal name, Patricia). She was professed as a Sister of St Joseph 4th January 1955.
For the next thirty years, Patricia ministered in parish schools in the Maitland-Newcastle and Lismore dioceses as a primary class teacher, principal and remedial teacher. She began to specialise in teaching children with physical or social difficulties which impacted on their ability to learn.
Eager to learn more about how to best assist those children, Patricia studied Special Education in Canberra and at the Kuring-Gai College of Advanced Education. Later Patricia, with the assistance of many volunteers, established the Learning Opportunity Centre in Newcastle where parents learned how to work with their children and where adults who had suffered a stroke could be helped
Patricia received the Premier’s Senior Award in 2003 City of Newcastle for outstanding service to older people and then in 2006 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her service to education.
Patricia was a very compassionate and prayerful person, remembering the needs of others in practical ways and in her prayer times in chapel. She also showed incredible endurance, bravely bearing the suffering and discomforts of ill health over many years. No doubt her keen sense of humour and her grateful attitude helped her through those difficult times.
Her active ministry completed, Patricia retired to the Southern Cross aged care facilities firstly in Caves Beach and then to the Tenison Apartments in Swansea where she died peacefully on 17th June 2021.
Because of the COVID restrictions, only a limited number of people were able to gather for the Mass for Christian Burial in St Joseph’s Chapel. Father Graham Fullick whom Sr Patricia had taught in 5th class at St Patrick’s Cessnock presided.
Having prayed for Sr Patricia’s eternal repose, her relatives and a group of her Sisters accompanied her to the Lochinvar Cemetery where she was laid to rest in the Sisters’ section. May she rest in peace, Amen.
Based on her Words of Remembrance delivered by Sr Angela Conroy rsj