Dr. Patricia Nichols Page, age 89, died July 27 at Croasdaile Village, Durham, NC. She was born November 11, 1923 at home in Melrose, MA. She graduated in 1941 from Melrose High School and went to Smith College in an accelerated program due to the war, graduating in 1944. She then obtained her first Master’s Degree in 1946 in Christian Education from Union Theological Seminary in New York City while living at Windham House. In later years she earned a second Master’s at Harvard University.
Her life-long career as a Christian Educator for the Episcopal Church started in 1946 in Bessemer City and Salisbury, NC. She continued to work with several dioceses in Maine and at St. John’s in Northampton, MA with students at Smith College. In 1964 Pat began 13 years in Zambia which she loved, especially watching the country become independent the first year she was there. In Zambia, she was instrumental in teaching students who she watched become leaders in the church. On her return to the states she earned her PhD from New York Theological Seminary then taught at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA retiring in 1989 to move to Durham, NC. In recognition of her years on the faculty, Dr. Page was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at the time of her retirement. Once in Durham she kept busy teaching varied courses through Duke’s Continuing Studies program, leading several book clubs, particularly focusing on African authors and participating in committees working towards the betterment of local education. She also worked to set up archives on Women Leaders in the Episcopal Church and was part of a team researching joint Methodist/Episcopal interests. In 1994 she published a book, “All God’s People are Ministers”. She was an active member of St. Titus Episcopal Church in Durham for many years. When she moved to Croasdaile Village, she moved her membership to St. Luke’s.
Pat was a constant traveler and teacher. She made one trip around the world and many individual trips within this country and abroad. No matter where she went Pat always knew someone and would stay at their house or meet them for lunch. Her relaxation was her summers at the family cottage on Lake Cobbossee in Manchester, ME. She loved swimming and reading, and she would entertain her friends from around the world.
Pat was predeceased by her parents, sister, Muriel Ann Page and niece, Rebecca Hatstat Gibbs. She leaves two sisters, Polly Cobb of Winthrop, ME and Mary Lu Hatstat of Bristol, VT. She also leaves seven nieces, one nephew and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Pat’s life will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Durham, NC on August 17 at 2PM followed by a reception for friends and family. A second Memorial Service will be held in Maine in September, details to be announced later. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Pauli Murray Project, c/o Preservation Durham, PO Box 25411, Durham, NC 27702 to support their mission to lift up the vision and legacy of activist, scholar, feminist, poet and Episcopal priest Pauli Murray and to save and restore her childhood home in Durham or to an organization of your choosing.
The family would like to thank the staff at Croasdaile Village as well as the many friends she left for their loving care of Pat. Special thanks to David and Linda Pendleton and The Reverend Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of North Carolina for their care and special friendship.
The Page family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com, Select Obituaries.