Born in Mexico City, she lived all over South America until coming to Canada to learn French in high school. Mastering that in just six months she thus became trilingual. At University of Ottawa she was crowned “Frosh Princess” (hard to imagine these days) by John Turner. Of that she remembered his sparkling blue eyes as well as her empire waist, emerald-green gown.
Undecided about the future she took various summer jobs, including selling swampland in Florida before applying to be a flight attendant. That turned out to be a “career” of 16 years and where she met her pilot, Peter Varty, who became her life partner.
On vacation in New Zealand, and still undecided about her future, she witnessed deer
farming, and thought “I can do that”. Twelve months later after several intense university
courses, city girl became farm girl. She managed the business for 17 years, was a founder
of the deer farmers association and 3 time president. She worked with the University of
Guelph on an experimental AI program for deer. Pat successfully lobbied the Ontario
Government on behalf of the industry right up to the Premier. Her reputation grew and she
was an invited speaker at conferences as far away as Australia.
Retiring from farming Pat turned to gardening to satisfy her creative and artistic urges. She created a spectacular landscape which was featured in a number of gardening magazines.
In addition, Pat volunteered to teach French for 14 years, first in the public school system, then at the Montessori school here at the ECFTA. Here she learned a new way of language teaching, the gesture-based AIM system. She mastered it and taught it with impressive
She took interest in environmental causes, hosted a garden fund raiser for Elizabeth May, MP and leader of the Green Party of Canada and worked behind the scenes on campaigns for Mike Schreiner MPP and leader of the Green Party of Ontario. She loved to travel, to
explore, to learn, visiting 6 of the 7 continents – from underwater in Micronesia, to hiking at 15000′ in the Andes, to Europe, Africa and Asia. Nature, history, and culture were the main goals… rarely a beach. Pat always wondered what she was going to do when she grew up.
Unknowingly perhaps, Pat found it: always finding a new challenge, learning and mastering it.
She was known as a woman of beauty, style and grace, intelligence, drive and strong will, a perfectionist, and the consummate host.
To quote a close friend: “That woman! She pushed. She demanded. She argued. Not always to win… not everybody knows that. Not to win. To learn. And when she smiled. Oh …when she smiled”
Care for this tree was funded thanks to Bonnie Lesky, Brier Sanderson and Optimum Integrative Health Centre, with Tree Trust Centre Wellington.