Obituary for Patricia Partridge Walsh

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Pat at the helmAfter a valiant fight against cancer, Patricia Partridge Walsh passed away December 27, 2013, at her home on Bethel Island, California, surrounded by family and photographs of her many loved ones. She was 75 years old.

Born in San Francisco in 1938 to Robert and Clara (Elmendorf) Partridge, her early years were spent in Hillsborough, before the family moved to San Francisco. A graduate of the Katherine Delmar Burke School, she went on to receive a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She soon returned to San Francisco, where she spent her early career in the field of advertising.

In 1970, Pat married John V. Walsh, a marine surveyor and naval architect, and in 1972 they purchased Bethel Harbor on Bethel Island in the California Delta, with the dream of building a sailboat they could sail around the world. Their dream was realized in 1991 when they sailed out from under the Golden Gate Bridge on the Quest II en route to Mexico, their first stop in a long line of many international destinations over the next decade.

Gifted with a keen intelligence and sense of humor, people were drawn to Pat. She delighted her family and many friends with her energy, large laugh and love of life. Passionately interested in all things food, Pat was an accomplished cook and exceptional hostess. She studied under Julia Child in 1981, and later completed the “boot camp” course at the Culinary Institute of America in 2001. It was a treat to be invited to the Walsh home for one of Pat’s many dinner parties. She was even known to host birthday parties for her beloved dogs for which formal invitations were sent to local canines and their humans and hamburger cake served.

An outstanding dominos player, Pat made the San Francisco news in 1972 as the only female player allowed to participate among a field of 351 men in the 12th Annual Western Dominos Tournament. She sat with pride and unwavering confidence in the mahogany paneled room of the San Francisco Commercial Club for the hallowed event.

In the mid-70’s, she started a small sales company, The Brass Connection, which specialized in quality decorative brass items.  She thoroughly enjoyed traveling throughout the United States selling and successfully growing her business, until she retired from it in the early 1990’s.

Throughout her life, Pat was an avid and prolific world traveler, and she made lifelong friends everywhere she went.  Her travels on the Quest II, with her husband included the Sea of Cortez, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, which she chronicled in a shared journal with hundreds of photos.  While active with the Quest II, she earned her FCC license to become the official ham radio operator for its many passages.  She also enjoyed traveling throughout Europe with family and friends.

Her life-long appreciation of Mexico, its people and their culture led her to learn the Spanish language.  For many years, Pat spent part of each year in Mexico, specifically in the La Paz and San Carlos areas. As a member of the La Paz Yacht Club, she became involved in numerous fundraisers to support the local children in the surrounding villages.  Later in her life, she spent winters at her second home in San Carlos, where she enjoyed an active social life. While there, she became involved in numerous fundraisers for the community ambulance and donated her time and resources to a local children’s fund.

Pat and friends

Pat was a tireless supporter of the Bethel Island community and contributed her time, talent and resources to many causes over the years, including the Chamber of Commerce, where she was a two-time past President, board member and a founding organizer of the Chamber’s Chili Cook-off Fundraiser. For years she wrote a regular cooking column for the “Bethel Island Beacon” based on her cooking experiences onboard the Quest II.  She reported daily to a San Francisco radio station with Bethel Island weather reports, supported numerous local charities and donated her time to Meals on Wheels.

Her indomitable spirit was tested with her cancer diagnosis, but her strength and love of life carried her throughout her three and one-half year battle with grace and dignity. The manner in which she handled her diagnosis and many treatments was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Pat was preceded in death by her husband John in 2002. She is survived by her family members: Kathleen Walsh of Portland Oregon, Susan Walsh of Cappadocia, Turkey, Frances Walsh of Portland, Oregon, nephew Jim Partridge and wife Edie of Santa Rosa, niece Teresa Jones of Oakland, and the Bolt family of Bethel Island.

A Celebration of Life to be held at BethelHarbor is being planned for early spring. Contributions may be made in Pat’s memory to Guide Dogs for the Blind, 350 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael, CA 94903, your local Meals on Wheels, or a charity of your choice.

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Bethel Island's
Remembering Patricia Partridge Walsh


Located in the heart of the California Delta, Bethel Harbor is the finest full-service marina in the area. Offering boaters a one stop destination open seven days a week with an experienced and knowledgeable staff. Four buildings of fully enclosed dry stack boat storage are enhanced with a valet launch service, the quickest in the delta. The covered berths range from 20 to 40 feet in length. The facility also encompasses a campground, fuel dock and convenience store, not to mention a highly rated service department and premier boat yard.

Downtown Bethel Island is close by and offers its own 18 hole championship golf course. There are convenient dining establishments, as well as some popular waterfront restaurants and lounges that are accessible by car or boat. We are located near superb water skiing sloughs. Local water skiing clubs are only a short distance away as are several private yacht clubs.

Explore waters close by or adventure further to San Francisco, Sacramento or Stockton by boat!