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Patti “Pat” Jill Atherton

Patti “Pat” Jill Atherton

Patti “Pat” Jill Atherton passed away unexpectedly in the early morning of Saturday, August 7th at Cowichan District Hospital on Vancouver Island.

Left to remember Pat are husband Peter Eberhardt (married March 7, 2020), sister Deb Gold, nephew Cody Gold, niece Sara Gold and Pat’s extended family consisting of:
school chums from kindergarten through to University; work colleagues from a wide range of health services and Universities; world travelers who shared wonderful stories of music and adventures; film festival fanatics; and friends fortunate enough to be invited to long weekend parties, travel & adventures plus assorted New Year’s Eve celebrations over the years.

A dedicated management professional in healthcare delivery, education and research, Pat was also a nurturing caregiver to loved ones over years including first husband Bruce (2013), life-long friend Suzanne “Sus” (2003) and her sister Deb. Pat was so happy to meet and marry Peter who took wonderful care of Pat when she began to experience her own health issues.

It is impossible to summarize the impact of Pat’s exuberance for life in a few short paragraphs and it’s devastating that COVID prevents us from sharing stories and hugs in person. Please help support Peter, and each other, by taking a moment to write words of sympathy, describe fond memories and share any fun stories about your relationship with Pat.


39 Condolences - Leave a comment
  • Annie Moore -

    I was so very sad to receive this news today. Pat was a warm, direct (but tactful), and fiercely intelligent colleague, and I respected her immensely, as did all who worked with her. We’ve lost a wise and wonderful professional, and I can only imagine the depth of loss for her friends and family. I think of her often, and will miss her calm and kind presence; my heartfelt condolences to her loved ones.

    • Peter Eberhardt -

      Annie, Thank-you very much for remembering my wife Patti. Your kind words truly reflect her personality. Thank-you for sharing your respect and condolences with me and those who truly loved her for who she was.

  • Inger Eakin -

    I was so shocked to see this obituary. My friend Pat and I shared many connections through the years. We worked for the same people at different times, worked for the same people at different places, and bumped into the same people at different locations with a “what you did what when with them?”. I am so sad – Pat was one of my long distance friends exchanging emails in my case to vent or share news. I shall miss her so much. Condolences to the family and her many friends.

  • Rita and Bentley -

    We are so sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. We fondly remember her infectious smile and ability to make all feel so welcome. Film festivals in Vancouver and Seattle, movies galore, concerts at the Cultch, dinner parties with laughter, good food, and Pictionary, taking our girls to see all the bunnies at UVic…the list goes on. Our sincerest condolences to her family.

  • Cyndi Law -

    So sorry to hear of Pat’s passing, and very shocked as well..Pat was full of life anytime I saw her, always a smile.
    P & B are together again…and hopefully chatting with Sus and Dave K.

    • P Eberhardt -

      Thank-you Cyndi for adding your thoughts. Indeed Patti was full of life and smiling for everyone she interacted with. All those who knew her understood how she had lots of love to give. Being her partner and second husband for more than 3 1/2 years taught me that. Best wishes to you.

  • Sam Hannah -

    When I think of Pat, the first thing that comes to mind is her mischievous smile, especially when she was about to impart some hot gossip: “So….here’s some news,” followed by a story about some friend, relative, neighbour or co-worker that would leave us both laughing.

    I think of Patty and I think of the meals I’ve shared with her, most of which she cooked, and the gatherings she hosted. She understood the importance of sharing food, wine, stories and laughter for connecting people and for building friendships. She connected many, and built well. I will miss her deeply.

  • Lupin Battersby -

    I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news of Pat passing. I’ve been thinking about her a lot over the last few days. The last time I saw her we promised each other that our paths would cross again, as they seemed to always do over the last many years. I so enjoyed working with Pat, even when we disagreed we always came back to smiles and gratitude for the lessons learned through the process. Pat was so encouraging and supportive of me and my work, she always seemed to provide a well timed compliment when I was feeling discouraged. I will miss her. My condolences to you Peter and her huge network of family, friends and colleagues.

  • Sarah Flann -

    Some people are like a ray of sunshine and Pat was one of them. I had the privilege of working closely with her on a project a few years back and enjoyed her energy and passion. Pat was always quick to support and would go over and above to make everyone feel included and valued. My sincerest condolences to Pat’s loved ones. She was an amazing person who will be sorely missed.

  • Anna Rychtera -

    I had the great fortune to work with Pat the last 5 years within the Training and Capacity Development team for the BC SUPPORT Unit.
    Pat was a “bundle of energy” and brought out the best in people. She had this secial ability to make any task fun, no matter the workload and stress and time commitment like planning a virtual conference, she always got things done. Pat was supportive, willing to listen and inclusive and respectful to everybody, no chip on her shoulders!
    I will miss her smile, her enthusiasm, just all of her….Pat is leaving a big void and she will not be forgotten! I really feel for her family and friends.

  • Beverley Pomeroy -

    There are so many words but truly not enough to articulate the impact Pat had on my introduction to this world of ‘patient oriented’. Pat was the very first person I met in the field and as former grads growing up in Richmond, we had lots to natter about.

    Sharing our deep experiences with grief, life, wins and challenges sitting at Stir Coffee house in Ladner for hours at a time or at the Sunday markets. Always a highlight until she excitedly moved to her island paradise.

    Peter, know that when you left Ladner Pat’s bike went to a young girl who otherwise wouldn’t have one. We sent Pat a picture! Pat was a vibrant, lively, head strong, generous person and I will miss her dearly. She has certainly left a legacy and our family sends heartfelt condolences to Pat’s.

    Warmest Bev P.

  • Ron Lindstrom -

    My heartfelt condolences go out to Peter and family. I worked with Pat several years ago and most recently as part of the Putting Patients First 2022 Working Group which she chaired. I will always remember her warm, wonderful, and contagious personality! You will be sorely missed, Pat.
    Sincerely, Ron Lindstrom

  • Magdalena Newman -

    I want to offer my deepest sympathy to Pat’s family. I hope that you can find some comfort through supporting each other and your memories of Pat. I will remember her as the bright person that she was, always ready with a wonderful smile.

  • Grace Mickelson -

    I had the great good fortune to work closely with Pat for several years. She was capable in so many areas and outstanding in her ability to tackle challenging work and move it along. She generously made it so much easier for the rest of us.
    Pat had a great sense of humour and wide ranging interests. She was thoughtful of others, collaborative and supportive.
    Sadly, we have lost a beautiful person.
    My condolences to Peter, family and close friends.
    May you find comfort and peace in the days and weeks ahead.

  • Noreen Frisch -

    I’ve lost a cherished colleague and a dear friend. I’ve worked with Pat for over a decade and remember her as kind, compassionate, able, reliable and wise. Thinking back, her accomplishments for the health care sector are amazing as she had unique ability to to teach, learn, share and collaborate. Complex projects were always carried to completions because of her facilitation and support. She had a clear ability to bring people together. We have all gained by having had the opportunity to know and work with Pat. My condolences to her family and dear friends.

    • P Eberhardt -

      Dear Noreen, I sincerely thank-you for the kind thoughts and words you’ve written. “She had a clear ability to bring people together”, indeed that was one of her many talents. I know she will be missed by you.

  • Angela Wolff -

    My condolences to the friends and families. She was so gracious and eager to support those in need. I have known Pat in a professional capacity since the early 2000s. She has been a steadfast member of the MSFHR team. This is very sad news.

  • Anastasia Mallidou -

    I am shocked and so sorry to hear Pat’s death. She was one of the most warm-hearted and kind persons I have met in BC. Pat’s smile was contagious and welcoming anyone in the projects I have worked with her. Last time that we met in person was just before the beginning of the pandemic. She was so happy with her upcoming marriage and moving again to Vancouver Island! We planned to meet as soon as she had moved in their new house. We also discussed about a new study that Pat was eager to participate and did anything she could the research project to be successful. Her willingness to assist everyone was unique. I will miss her humor, wit and unique way to teach/show what technology could do to help us in many ways. I already missed you, Pat! My sincerest condolences to her husband, family and friends.

    • P Eberhardt -

      Dear Anastasia, I truly thank-you for your kind words. There is a huge hole in my heart and life now. I can’t begin to describe the loss I am feeling as her husband. She made Life Beautiful for so many people including Friends, Family, and also in her workplace. Many thanks once again for your kindness in expressing your thoughts here. P.Eberhardt

  • Alison Hoens -

    Pat Atherton was a treasured colleague and friend whom I admired both professionally and personally. Her impact were not merely a reflection of ‘what she did’ but rather a consequence of ‘how she did it’. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have shared lives.

  • Sarah Kesselring -

    I’m very sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. Pat was lovely to work with, friendly and considerate. My condolences to her family and friends.

  • Pierre Zwiegers -

    I am saddened to learn of Pat’s passing. Having known her in a professional capacity through her work with the BC SUPPORT Unit, her approach, dedication, and enthusiasm for the effort has always been inspirational and has left an indelible impression on me.

    My sincere condolences to all her family and friends: wishing you all courage, strength and love to help you through this loss.

  • Ann Greenwood -

    I am so sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. She had a special way of making everyone in her sphere feel welcome and valued. My sincere condolences to her family and all that had the pleasure to know her.

  • Gayle Scarrow -

    Pat was a ray of sunshine and support when I started working at MSFHR and continued as such through the past 15 years. She embraced life in a way that was an example to all who knew her. I miss you Pat!

  • Victor Espinosa -

    With so sad feeling that Pat Atherton passed away, I join the many voices wishing acceptance for her family.
    In my opportunities to interact with Pat I always found kindness and will to help.

  • Aggie Black -

    I collaborated with Pat on numerous projects over the past 11 years, and absolutely loved working with her! She taught me so much, was always available with advice and instructions, especially on how to utilize web-based technologies. She was a joy to work with and I will miss our regular conversations.

  • Sarah Henderson -

    This is very sad news. I only knew Pat in a professional capacity, mostly through her work with the BC Environmental & Occupational Health Research Network over the years. She was excellent at her work, and it sounds like that carried into her personal life as well. My condolences to her family and friends.

  • Elizabeth Borycki -

    It is so sad that Pat has passed away. Her energy and enthusiasm for educating others using digital tools will last through the technologies she helped build to connect people to learn from each other and improve healthcare in BC.

  • Frank (Franjo) Sedlar -

    I will remember Pat as a sweet, loving person whose generosity of spirit always made me feel welcome in her home. Her funny and entertaining stories about her love of movies were something we both shared. She always teased me about my other interests in barbarian movies and called them “swords and sandals” flicks. Her dinner parties and Oscar-themed food events were fun as well as her New Year’s parties. We played games like Brainiac while drunk and laughed at our antics until we spit up wine. How I will miss those days.
    Pat always had a kind word for others and a bright smile with a little mischievous grin when you knew she was up to something. Her knowledge of flowers and trees always amazed me since I could only pick out a rose bush, a spruce and the odd birch tree. She enjoyed reading books on many subjects but really loved her local stories of the Island, historical Vancouver and tidbits about Point Roberts. We shared several books over the years and I treasure our conversations about them.
    My early Island visits with Pat included walks to many beaches, parks, farmers markets and visits to local wineries that I would not have seen without her. There was always an adventure around the corner or some new discovery that she wanted to share with me. We liked the same antique flea markets and I was happy to get bargains for Pat on treasures she wanted but was too shy to barter for.
    I knew how lonely Pat was without Bruce in her life. I saw Pat’s happiness and joy after she met Peter Eberhardt and her mischievous grin was back in full force. I’m grateful to Peter for being in her life and for including me and Donna in theirs. Although our time together was cut short, my fond memories of Pat will last forever.

    • P Eberhardt -

      My Dear Frank, Thank-you so much for the thoughtfulness you expressed here about Patti. We shared wonderful moments and time together with you over the better part of 4 years. You and Donna were very special people in Patti’s life. I can’t thank-you enough for your friendship and support. I look forward to the day we can be together again.

  • Diane Aubin -

    It broke my heart to hear of Pat’s death. She was a colleague who became a good friend, and I will always cherish the time I was able to spend talking and laughing with her. My deepest condolences for such a devastating loss, to Peter, and to all her family and close friends. I will miss her beautiful smile and the twinkle in her eyes.

    • P Eberhardt -

      Thank-you Diane. Patti was all about “being there” for people. I believe I have become a better person because of Patti. I will live the rest of my life each day to honor her memory.

  • Emma Kaiser -

    I only had the pleasure of knowing Patti for a short time, but from the moment I met her she was a bright light in my life. She handled any situation with ease and always had her amazing sense of humour to go along with it. The news of Patti passing has absolutely rocked me and my dearest condolences go out to the family.

  • Janette McMillan and Doug Graves -

    Please know how saddened we are to hear of Pat’s death. She was such an important part of our lives back in the day. In fact, she invented us! Pat knew Doug from Richmond Society for Community Living over 30 years ago and Janette from the front rows of VIFF and she thought we would suit each other. Love also from Courtney Burt, another third row VIFF participant. We have many many fond memories.

    • P Eberhardt -

      Thank you Doug and Janette.
      Patti was very happy to have brought you together. “Invented us” is an excellent observation.

  • Ninette Ollgaard -

    I am shocked and saddened to hear of Pat’s untimely passing. I extend my sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

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