March 22, 1957 - December 25, 2013
It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we say farewell to one of our family. Patty passed away after succumbing to injuries incurred in a horse riding accident on November 15. Patty was an accomplished weaver and a special member of the Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys team. Many of you experienced the true pleasure of spending time with her on our trips. Her warm smile and infectious spirit touched all that knew her and she will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
Patty grew up in Westport, Conn., where she enjoyed many activities on the water. She held the State Salt Water Striper record as a teenager and loved to catch and tag sharks. She was one of the nation's first women windsurfing pioneers and was slated to attend the Olympics before a windsurfing accident injury.
Patty loved animals of all kinds. She raised Tibetan yaks at her ranch in Ridgway, Colorado where she resided with her husband DeGrey Phillips and her two dogs. Patty was known locally as the "Yak Whisperer" and was on the Board of Directors of the International Yak Association. Whether it was rescuing her dogs from a local shelter, contributing to animal related charities or gentling a llama in Peru, all animals brought her tremendous joy.
Patty had an extraordinary life and truly lived it to the fullest. Adventure travel was one of her great passions. Along with DeGrey and her friends, she traveled the globe. Patty dove with Great White sharks, rode camels in Petra and India; galloped on horseback in Botswana, Ecuador, Spain, and Mongolia; and explored Africa from the back of an elephant. Fortunately for us, textile travel quickly became one of her new favorite adventures where she was able to share her enormous talent and enthusiasm with Loom Dancer weavers on many odysseys. However, Patty's favorite place to weave was closer to home with her weaving family at Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, New Mexico. It was here that she learned the Rio Grande tradition of weaving and sold the bulk of her work. Patty was an active member of the San Juan Weaving Guild in Montrose, Colorado and the Intermountain Weavers Conference comprised of fiber artists from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.