Patricia Worthington Bartlett was born on May 26, 1933, in Torrington, Conn., to William and Margaret (Gibbs) Worthington of Kent, Conn. She died in Vernon, Vermont on September 9.
Patsy spent her childhood in Kent, living at Kent School where her father taught history. As a child she spent nearly every summer with her parents and brother Bill at their summer house on the Pamet River in Truro, Mass. She attended Kent Center School and graduated from Bartram School in Jacksonville, Fla., and in 1956 earned her B.A. from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass.
In 1954, Patsy married Martin Rockwell Bartlett, and their eldest child was born the following year. After her graduation from college, Patsy and Rocky lived in and around Woods Hole, Mass., and had four additional children.
In 1967, the family moved to Pascagoula, Miss., where Patsy helped to found the first integrated PTA at her children’s public elementary school. She also served as a substitute teacher in the local Head Start program. In 1969, with her husband at sea and older children visiting relatives, Patsy and her two youngest weathered Hurricane Camille. In 1970, she worked as a census taker in her coastal Mississippi community.
The family moved to St. Simons Island, Ga., in 1970. In 1973, Patsy joined the VISTA program and received training as a paralegal. She went to work for Georgia Legal Services and spent 12 years there assisting clients in domestic matters, in obtaining federal benefits, and in freely exercising their civil rights. In her final years working in Georgia, she acted as liaison between inmates at Georgia State Prison and their attorneys. Also in Georgia, she volunteered as a guardian ad litem, advocating for children involved in the court system.
In 1985, Patsy moved to Portland, Maine, where she worked for a small firm specializing in labor and employment law. In 1988, she and her husband divorced, and in 1990 Patsy’s beloved father died. In 1998, she retired and spent the subsequent ten years wintering in Georgia and summering in Truro, initially with her mother who died in 2001. In 2008, she moved to Brattleboro, Vt.
Patsy was a lifelong student of the natural world. She enjoyed travel and over the years visited Europe and the near east, as well as Hawaii, Cuba and Costa Rica. She loved people and had many good friends from all the stages of her life. Facing the prospect of dementia in her old age, Patsy said, “It is my policy to be happy.” She will be remembered for her beautiful smile.
Patsy was proud to have raised her children to be responsible citizens. She leaves behind Rebecca Bartlett and her husband Paul Gardner of Brattleboro; Lucy Bartlett, D.V.M., of Bourne, Mass.; her favorite son Spaulding Bartlett and his wife Dottie of North Palm Beach, Fla.; Margaret Bartlett and her partner Suzannah Cockerille of New Bern, N.C., and Sarah Freeman and her husband Jack of Brunswick, Ga. Her dear grandchildren are Justin Freeman, Helga Gardner, Caroline and Samuel Stevick, Kiana Marko, and Marvin Bartlett. She also leaves her brother William and his wife Vicky of Truro, Mass., and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial will be held at a later date.