Submitted by Family Friend, Naoko Shirota
Our family met Pat when my parents moved to the US from abroad for my father’s graduate studies. My mother had a particularly difficult time adjusting, since at that time she did not speak English at all and had no friends. She went to my dad’s school’s international center to take English classes taught by volunteers in the community, and that is how our family met Pat. Pat was so kind that not only did she teach my mom English, but she also embraced our family as her extended family. My “American grandma” took me to the library when I was in kindergarten, sent me Seventeen magazine subscriptions when I was in high school, and invited us to share special family holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with her warm and welcoming family. She recently has had some physical concerns, but that hasn’t stopped her from being the cheerful and active lady she was in the community. She still records audio books for the blind, and loves doing any volunteer work that helps those in need. She is my role model and living legend.