Patricia Rae Vockeroth, 84, of Mt. Prospect, passed away peacefully on December 22, 2018. Patricia, “Pat” was born in Chicago on March 25, 1934 to Clarence and Ethel Hermanson. She was a graduate of Tuley High School and The Chicago Teachers College, and a student of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is survived by her high school sweetheart and husband of 63 years, Ellwood “Woody”, their two children, Warren and Gail, her sisters Ruth (Lee), Carole (Paul), and Ginny (Bob), her beloved grandchildren, Jackie (Daniel), John, Daniel, Melanie, Gina, Neil, Vicky and Nick, her son-in-law John and daughter-in-law Kathy. She will also be remembered by her nieces and nephews Bob, Jim, Debbie, Bob, Scott and Carolyn, and many lifelong friends. Patricia is predeceased by her parents, her brother Richard and sister-in-law Norlene, and her cherished grandson Dexter.
Patricia dedicated her lifework to education and service. She taught elementary school in the inner city and suburbs public schools, and high school equivalency classes at the Cook County Jail. A lifelong advocate for equality and social justice, she volunteered for the Chicago Human Relations Commission and Operation Breadbasket and PUSH. In 1981 Patricia, along with Ernestine Rivers and Margaret Rauls, founded Lawndale Community School in Chicago with the primary goal of providing Lawndale’s neighborhood students with an elementary education of academic excellence. Pat’s educational model has continued to thrive since her retirement, growing from 2 small classrooms with 2 teachers serving 34 students into a Chicago charter school network with 10 campuses serving over 4000 elementary students.
After her retirement, Pat and Woody enjoyed many years of traveling the world visiting more than forty countries and all seven continents.
A true model of compassion and strength, Pat is an inspiration to us all. From her work of empowering others through education, to her unwavering kindness toward everyone she met, she leaves an extraordinary legacy that will continue to touch and shape lives for many years to come. She will be long remembered by family, friends, and students for her warmth and understanding, her sharp mind and endless curiosity, her gifts of listening and reaching out to those in need, and for sharing her enthusiasm for reading, learning, and teaching.
A life celebration for Patricia is being scheduled for March 23, 2019. Details will be forthcoming. Memorial donations in memory of Patricia may be made to The Histiocytosis Association at https://www.histio.org/ or mailed to Histiocytosis Association 332 N Broadway Pitman, NJ 08071 or to LEARN Charter Schools at https://learncharter.org/donate or mailed to Learn Charter School Network Development Office PO Box 08328 Chicago, IL 60608