Patricia Joan Clancy
Our beloved mother, sister and friend, Patricia Joan Clancy died Sunday, July 8, surrounded by family. She is survived by her daughter, Julia Kosowitz (Nina), sisters Colleen and Carol Clancy, brother Duff Clancy (Susan), nieces Anna and Ellen, and nephews Will, Danny, Matthew, Aaron, and Kyle.
Pat was born in Denver, Colorado on September 23, 1943 to Robert Duffus Clancy and Joan Clancy (Williams). As both the eldest sibling and oldest cousin in the family, she was a born “big sister.” She never had a true hometown as the family moved regularly following her father’s Air Force career. She spent her childhood in Colorado, Alaska and Louisiana. Pat always had a special relationship with her grandmother, Margie, with whom she and her mother lived while her father was away at war. Some of her favorite childhood memories were the times she spent fishing in the hot Texas summers after Margie slathered her face with makeup (this was before sunscreen). Both redheads, born into a family of redheads, Margie taught Pat that protecting her skin was to be a life-long project.
In 1957, the family moved to Yokota, Japan, where Pat attended high school. She loved the freedom of traveling to Tokyo and learned to navigate the Japanese transit system as a teenager, standing head and shoulders above most of her fellow travelers. The years Pat spent in Japan were among her happiest and she maintained a lifetime of affection for the country and its people. The family moved to California in 1961 where Pat started college at UCSB. She transferred to UC Berkeley and earned an AB and a master’s degree in history. After spending time in New York and Salt Lake City, Pat returned to Santa Barbara. Although she always talked about living in a place with “true seasons”, she loved Santa Barbara and developed strong ties to the local community. Pat treasured the many close friendships she built over the years. Her closest friends were people she met in Santa Barbara, and many of those friendships lasted over 40 years.
She began her local career with Santa Barbara County Child Protective Services, where she worked to protect and support children suffering from abuse, and was an advocate for children in the foster care system. Pat never lost her passion for supporting children’s services and education and devoted both money and time to local children’s charities, including Girls Inc of Carpinteria and the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara. For many years she served as mentor for elementary school children through the CADA mentorship program. After working with county attorneys in Child Protective Services, Pat decided to go to law school herself. She enrolled at the Santa Barbara College of Law, taking evening classes to earn her J.D. while she continued to work. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, quickly passed the bar exam and went to work as an attorney for Santa Barbara County Counsel. Pat was keenly aware of the challenges she had faced as a woman in the workforce in her early career, and strove to provide opportunities and mentorship to her colleagues. She retired in 2003, after a county career of more than 30 years.
Pat was a skilled artisan and was well known for her crochet work, sewing, jewelry making, gardening, and flower arranging. She had an eye for art and interior design and a passion for collecting antique Japanese furniture, pottery, and woodblock prints. She loved crocheting baby blankets for family and friends, and contributed many of her blankets to Project Linus. Pat was a voracious reader and constant patron of the library, and always had a stack of mysteries, histories, and autobiographies in her “to read” stack. For a brief stint, Pat raised Siamese and Burmese show cats but she quickly realized that show cats were not for her; every future cat she adopted was from a shelter. To Pat, a house without a cat was just a house, not a true home.
Pat lived a long rich life and received excellent care during her final illness. Pat’s family would especially like to express their gratitude to the staff of Casa Los Padres, including Manas, Larisa, Oleg, Katerina and Anton. Thanks and appreciation also go out to Simone Byers, and to the staff of Central Coast Hospice. A donation in Pat’s memory may be made to one of her favorite charities: Direct Relief, Amnesty International, or the Santa Barbara Public Library.