Patricia A. Black, age 86, died December 14, 2017, in Granger, Indiana, where she resided for the past year. Patricia (Patsy) Ann Black was born on October 5, 1931, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the third child of the late Robert Joseph and Ann Marie Gibbons Black. She was preceded in death by her brother Anthony Robert Black, sister Loyola B. Black and many aunts and uncles.
Patsy graduated from Our Redeemer Academy in 1949 and received her B.A. degree from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University) in 1968. She began her teaching career at St. Michael’s School in Pittsburgh’s South Side while attending college and later at St. Maurice’s Elementary School in Forest Hills. Her final and longest teaching position was at White Oak Elementary School in the McKeesport Area Schools District. She taught second grade for many years, retiring early to care for her sister Loyola during her final illness.
She was a life-long member of the former St. Pius V Church in McKeesport and a member of its Ladies Guild, serving as its president for several years. When St. Pius merged into Corpus Christi Parish, she joined the Prayer Shawl Ministry and also served as a Eucharistic Minister.
Patsy had the gift of eternal youth throughout all her life. She, like Peter Pan, never grew up and shared her amazing imagination with her nieces and nephews, all of whom thought she was their peer, not an adult aunt, until they were almost grownups themselves. Each summer she transformed her backyard on Craig Street into a wonderland of flowers—the kind that fairies live in. The trips to Kennywood with Patsy, who rode rollercoasters into her late sixties, were legendary. Her sense of adventure extended to travel. Patsy traveled throughout Europe and took cruises to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Panama Canal, and wherever her friends could persuade her to visit. Patsy will be remembered by all as a wonderful storyteller who could turn any minor event into a wildly funny story through her dramatic delivery and vivid facial expressions. In addition to her conversational artistry, Patsy played the organ and painted.
She will be greatly missed, but those who love her so much, are relieved that she has been freed from her battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
She is survived by her nieces; Stephanie Williams and Mary Kay Black, nephews; Robert and Bernard Black and many cousins.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 from 2-8 pm at Strifflers of White Oak Cremation & Mortuary Services, 1100 Lincoln Way, White Oak, PA 15131 (Sue Striffler Galaski, Supervisor 412-678-6177). Mass will be held Wednesday at 10 am at Corpus Christi Church, McKeesport, with Fr. Steven Palsa officiating. Burial will follow. Condolences may be made at www.strifflerfuneralhomes.com.
Originally published December 15, 2017.