Patricia (Patty) Klimczak Andersen, 67 of Canton, CT, died peacefully on November 25th. Patty fought hard in her battle with mental illness and alcoholism. She was born in Hartford, raised in Newington and the oldest of five children. She is survived by her sister Grace Link and brothers Walter, Benjamin, John Klimczak and countless extended family and friends.
Patty will be missed by her husband of 43 years, Rolf Andersen, and their three daughters, Kathryn and husband Joseph Rizzo of Higganum, Megan and husband Peter Ettlinger of Portland, and Erïn and husband Paul Valente of Moodus. Adored as “Nonnie”, she leaves behind five grandchildren, Joseph and Owen Rizzo, Jude and Hazel Ettlinger, and the newest addition, Svea Ruth Valente.
Patty graduated from Hartford College for Women in 1975, Smith College with a BA in Economics in 1977, and Trinity College with a Master’s in Urban Planning in 1985. Patty was endlessly curious and surrounded herself with books, especially by her favorite author Stephen King. Her love of learning and reading is a gift she imparted on her daughters, grandchildren, and all she knew. Most recently, she shared her passion for reading with her students as the Librarian at St. Mary’s School in Simsbury. She found joy in community by teaching Faith Formation and other volunteer work at St. Catherine’s Parish in Simsbury. While her girls were young, she coached and umpired Little League Girls Softball, soccer, basketball, led Girl Scout Troops, helped in ballet and countless other activities.
There was nothing Patty could not bake, cook, grow or sew. We will miss seeing her beautiful salads and cookies at every family event. Her beautiful gardens will be a treasure her family will have when they bloom again in the spring. Above all, Patty was a gifted seamstress and we are blessed to have her live on with us in the love she stitched into countless hemlines, patches, Halloween costumes, quilts, pajamas, doll clothes, and wedding dresses.
To know Patty is to understand that life was defined by her annual vacation to Cape Cod. Trying to put this vacation, one that her family has taken since 1955, into words is impossible. It was a step back through the sands of time to a quaint cottage that mirrored the writing of Henry Beston. Captured by the scents at low tide, sun lotion, your salty towel warmed by the hot sand and stone soup on the stove. We will remember Patty with every sunset, seashell found, trips to Billingsgate Island and every lobster bake.
To honor her life, donations can be made to the Fred Rogers Center or Salvation Army. Her strength and resilience will be admired for generations. She often found inspiration in the words of Mr. Rogers as we draw on his wisdom now as we mourn her passing:
“To love someone is to accept that person exactly the way she is-right here and now-and to go on caring through joyful times and through the times that may bring us pain.”
Calling hours will be held at the Vincent Funeral Home, 120 Albany Turnpike in Canton on Wednesday, November 30th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 1st at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 265 Stratton Brook Road in West. Simsbury. Please visit Patty’s Book of Memories at
www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.