WATERTOWN, NY — Patricia M. McAuliffe, 91, widow of James E. McAuliffe, Jr. of Watertown, NY, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, surrounded by her loving family after bravely battling cancer for over a year.
Patricia was born in Medford, Massachusetts on April 2, 1930. She was the daughter of Frances Veronica McCarron Cannon and Joseph F. Cannon. She graduated from Arlington High School and Burdette College in the Boston area. She met James E. McAuliffe, Jr. at Arlington High School shortly after he returned from World War II and served in the U.S. Navy in Japan. They married on September 2nd, 1949 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Jim and Pat moved to Watertown in 1964 after living in Andover, Massachusetts and Dayton, Ohio. Jim and Pat became parents to seven children. They settled into the family home on Franklin Street as a large family of ten people, including “Grammy” (Patricia’s mother.) Patricia and Jim were married for sixty-one years prior to Jim’s passing in 2010.
Patricia has touched the lives of many people with her caring heart and strong leadership. After raising seven children, she decided to share her caring nature with others by becoming a registered nurse. She graduated from Jefferson Community College in 1973. This was noteworthy because she attended college at the same time as several of her sons. She worked as a maternity charge nurse for fifteen years at Mercy Hospital in Watertown. She assisted at countless births, including ten of her grandchildren. Later in her nursing career, she worked in the drug/alcohol unit at Mercy Hospital until her retirement in 2000.
Jim and Patricia did some traveling in their later years, but their favorite vacation spot was Wells Beach, Maine. As the children grew and started their own families, this destination became the meeting spot for annual family vacations. There were forty descendants (five generations) with her during her last trip in July, 2021.
Patricia’s large family agrees that she has created an extraordinary legacy of love. She has played many different roles during her lifetime including daughter, wife, mother, mother-in-law, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Nana, caretaker and nurse. She was a very spiritual woman who was ahead of her time in many ways. She spoke in a strong Boston dialect and was not afraid to voice her opinion. She loved to host family gatherings. She took great pride in looking her best, and looked forward to her weekly hair appointments with Chris Schloop. Patricia was a woman with class and style – she did not leave the house unless she was dressed in her best clothes and her silver hair was fixed.
Patricia enjoyed watching football and basketball on TV. She was a long-time Red Sox, Patriots and Syracuse fan, and a loyal follower of Tom Brady. She braved the elements to support her children and grandchildren at their sporting events. Her hobbies were “cooking for an army,” reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles, reading library books, shopping for Christmas gifts and tending the flower pots on her deck. She enjoyed hosting her large family for the annual grand Christmas party. She was known for sending birthday cards in cursive writing, and always wrote “May God hold you in the palm of His hand,” with her signature.
Patricia was the matriarch of a large family that is still growing, She is survived by seven children and their spouses: James and Michele McAuliffe (Watertown), Kenneth and Marion McAuliffe, (York, Maine), Lawrence McAuliffe and Juan-Carlos Alvarez McAuliffe, (Jersey City, NJ), Brian and Luann McAuliffe, (Watertown), Janet and Michael D’Onofrio, (Middletown, CT), Joyce and Eric Bettinger, (Delmar, NY), and Joanne and Allen Spooner, Watertown (her next-door neighbors).
She is also survived by her 18 grandchildren: Kate Reagan, Emily Shields, Christine McAuliffe, Ryan McAuliffe, Kyle McAuliffe, Sean McAuliffe, Brett McAuliffe, Maggie McAuliffe, Andrew Bettinger, Jeffrey Bettinger, Megan Bettinger, Bradley Bettinger, Alicia Kiechle, Amanda Poznanski, Joey Spooner, Nick D’Onofrio, Tricia D’Onofrio and Abigail Baumann, and sixteen great-grandchildren.
There will be no calling hours. A private memorial service and funeral Mass for the family will be held at Holy Family Church in Watertown. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery directly following the Mass. Arrangements are being handled by the Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown.
Patricia’s family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Joseph Wetterhahn and Hospice of Jefferson County. Donations in Patricia’s memory can be made to Roswell Flower Memorial Library at 229 Washington Street Watertown, NY13601 OR Hospice of Jefferson County at 1398 Gotham Street Watertown, NY. Online condolences to her family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.