Obituary: Wakeley, Mary Patricia
WAKELEY, Mary Patricia Passed away Saturday, November 9, 2013, in Spokane at the age of 89. She was born Mary Patricia Sylvester in Portland, Oregon on September 8, 1924, to George Sylvester and Margaret Hodson Sylvester. At the age of nine months, Mary Pat traveled to Point Barrow, Alaska, with her parents and aunt where her parents became teachers. On their return her family moved to Spokane where her sister Dorothy was born. Mary Pat attended Wilson and Roosevelt Elementary Schools and Lewis and Clark high school. After graduation in 1942 Mary Pat attended the University of Idaho, joining Delta Delta Delta Sorority, being accepted to Phi Beta Kappa and graduating with a B.A. in Art Education. Mary Pat and high school sweetheart Daniel Wakeley married on September 27, 1947, and lived in Moscow, Idaho, moving to Spokane in 1951 where Dan became Northwest Editor of the Spokane Daily Chronicle. The couple had four children. In 1963 Mary followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a caseworker for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, working in various capacities for the agency until her retirement. Her family life remained a priority, with camping trips near and far and enthusiastic support of her children’s many interests, especially drum and bugle corps. In 1981 her beloved Dan died of leukemia. Despite her loss, Mary embraced life with a passion. She became an avid lifelong learner, taking classes at local colleges, the South Hill Senior Center and Elderhostels, joining book clubs and traveling extensively. Mary Pat was active in many organizations including Delta Delta Delta, PEO, Dantis Club , the Jundt Art Museum and Joanna Chapter of Westminster Congregational Church. Mary is survived by: her four children; Deborah Wakeley of Sequim, WA, David Wakeley of Spokane, Thomas Wakeley (Jennifer) of Spokane, and Susan Branton (Kim) of Renton, WA; three grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew and Douglas; a cousin Maria Gander of Tigard, OR, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Daniel and her sister Dorothy Sylvester Cummins. The family wishes to thank Margaret Ennis and the staff of Harbor Glen/Brookdale Living Memory Care for their loving care of our mother in the last months of her life, and Hospice of Spokane. A celebration of Mary Pat’s life will be held Saturday, November 23 at 2:00pm at Westminster Congregational Church, 411 S. Washington St. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice of Spokane, the Humane Society, Arc of Spokane or Westminster Congregational Church.