SWANTON – Patsy, a dedicated Mother, and loving Mema, passed away on June 27, 2020, at the age of 68 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Patsy was born November 30, 1951, in St. Albans, Vt., where she grew up with two of her siblings, Linda Bilodeau and Karl Miller. Her parents Rosaire and Veronica (Sweeney) Miller owned Miller’s Furniture and The Jumping Flea Market, and her beloved Uncle Joe and Aunt Claire owned Miller’s Automotive. To say Patsy was a proud Miller would be an understatement. Patsy also enjoyed spending time with her two sisters, who resided in Upstate New York, Judy Greenleaf and Sandy Taillon.
Patsy had a passion for learning new things. There was not much she could not do, and there was certainly nothing she would not try, which made her career choices interesting and fun. Patsy waited on tables at the iconic Cindy’s Diner, co-owned a construction company, and did a lot of the work herself. She became an EMT and volunteered for Swanton Rescue and worked in the emergency room at Northwestern Medical Center. Later in life, she went back to school, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Johnson State College for Liberal Arts. After that, her career choices took on new meaning. She opened Barnyard Daycare in her home, where she welcomed and loved everyone that came through the door. The days were fun and filled with learning, and many of the kids became part of her family. Patsy did not stop there. She worked at the Swanton Elementary School, specifically becoming passionate about teaching kids in the Abenaki Village to read. With this passion she soon became a dedicated respite worker and later a foster grandmother, where Mema Pat would knit scarves and mittens for everyone. She loved kids and found so much joy being around them.
Patsy had three girls and three boys. She taught them to be proud of their heritage, to give more than you take, that you can be anything you put your mind to, and how to be fiercely independent. She taught them how to cook from scratch, including canning vegetables and how to make her famous fudge and glass candy. Patsy had a wild passion for hockey. Over the years, she cheered for the Canadians and later the Bruins. Her love for the sport impacted her kid’s and grandchildren’s passion. She loved watching her boys play, and eventually, her grandson. In 1991 Patsy became a Mema and boy did that change her. She quickly updated her license plate on her favorite red jeep to proudly display Mema. In total, Patsy had eleven grandchildren who held a special place in her heart. She loved being Mema, and it brought out the best in her. Patsy had a special bond with her niece Stacie Bilodeau. They enjoyed spending time making playdoh and pillows each summer for Camp Daybreak. Stacie played an important part in Aunt Pat’s life to the very end.
Patsy was predeceased by her parents Rosaire and Veronica Miller and her son David Fournier II. Left to cherish her memories are her five children, Tammy and Glenn Johnson, Nicole Fournier Grisgraber and Fred Grisgraber, Rosaire Fournier, Dustin, and Melissa Bates and Samantha Miller. Patsy was Mema to eleven grandchildren whom she adored, and that always put a smile on her face, Katie Dorman, Danielle Mears, Kevin Fournier, Jazmine Fournier, Patrick Shannon, and Skylier Fournier, Owen Shannon, Jack Shannon, Patrice Bates, Emmett Sheets, Elijah Sheets. And four great-grandchildren Lucian Bessette, Grayson Dorman, Porter Fournier, Bodhi Dorman.
The family would like to thank Birchwood Terrace and Bayada Hospice for their dedicated care. Both teams provided Patsy with respect, dignity, and compassion until the end. The family is grateful for the support and would not have been able to do it without both organizations.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in Holy Angels Church. Interment will follow in the Miller family lot in Mount Calvary Cemetery. As an alternative to flowers, please consider donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.act.alz.org/donate, or Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi www.abenakination.com/donate. Arrangements are entrusted to the Brady & Levesque Funeral Home, where online condolences and memories may be shared with her family and friends at www.bradyandlevesque.com.