Patricia Ann "Patty" Chittenden
December 18, 1940 - August 13, 2022
Patricia Ann Chittenden (McGinnis), known as Patty to her friends, passed away peacefully at 10:35am on August 13, 2022, at John C. Lincoln Hospital. She is survived by six brothers and sisters, Bernie "Joe", Margie, Leo, Kathleen, Danny, and Rose. She is also survived by two sons (Ted and David) and a daughter, Lynda. She has four grandchildren (Sabrina, Izzi, Cody, and Ted "Teddy Bear" and four great-grandchildren (Xander, Leo, Rayne, and Willow). She is preceded in death by her true love Ted Chittenden, her mother Alice, Father Leo, Sister Terry and her brothers, John and Tom.
Patty Mcginnis (known as Patty to her friends and family) was born the fourth of ten children to Leo and Alice McGinnis of Tujunga, California. She attended Bellermine-Jefferson High School in Burbank, graduating in 1958. In 1961, she met Ted Chittenden, a Korean War veteran, and they were married on December 1, 1962. The couple had two boys, Ted Jr. and David, both born blind in 1963 and 1965 respectively; and a sighted daughter, Lynda, born in 1974.
Patty devoted herself to raising her children and supplementing her husband's income as a carpenter by driving a school bus for the schools for the deaf and blind in Los Angeles, California. When the family moved to Phoenix in 1972 and the two boys went to the state school for the deaf and blind in Tucson, Patty drove a school bus for the Madison school district.
In 1976, with encouragement from staff members of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, both blind boys began attending their local public elementary school (Madison Rose Lane). However, Mrs. Chittenden had bigger ideas for them. Being a lifelong Roman Catholic and having attended Bellarmine-Jefferson High School, a Jesuit-run institution in Burbank, California, she wanted her two blind sons to attend Brophy College Preparatory. The school had never had any visually impaired students before, but she convinced the school's president at the time, who had a blind roommate while in college, to give it a try. Ted Jr. took the entrance exam in April of 1977, passed it, and began attending Brophy in the fall.
Because Brophy was (and is) a private parochial institution, little assistance for helping the boys with things like their homework was available. Patty, who had been a math whiz at Bellarmine-Jefferson, took on the task of assisting both kids with their homework each night, sometimes spilling over in to breakfast the next morning. She read entire books not available in braille to her two blind sons to assist them with their schoolwork. And, since Brophy was about the fine arts as well, she became the person who encouraged her sons to join in and participate with these events.
In 1981, Ted Jr. graduated from Brophy with David graduating two years later. Patty went back to work, this time as a bookkeeper for the Madison School District, retiring in 2000. She also served as a bookkeeper for her husband, now a subcontractor. After her husband's death in 2001, Patty lived in relative obscurity in retirement. Ted Jr. had moved home in 1985 and never moved out again. Lynda moved home with her kids in 2017. David lives in Australia but was in contact with his mother sharing his adventures a few times a month.
Patty was devoted to her husband and family. Patty loved outdoors adventures including camping, fishing, and being with nature. Her favorite love was the beach and feeling the sand between her toes. She was often found sitting outside on her porch swing, sipping her coffee, enjoying the scenery. She was known by many of the children's friends as a second mom and a safe place where they were always welcomed. She was an unsung hero for many and was ready to defend and support her children and was the matriarch of the family. She was always telling people to laugh at themselves and not to take life to seriously, she had an amazing sense of humor and loved to shock people with comments to make them laugh. Patty had a brilliant mind that allowed her to solve problems and to come up with unique ideas. She loved mysteries, puzzles and figuring out what the ending was before anyone else. She loved to swim and reading was her favorite past time. She was a lifelong learner and teacher. She had a very keen sense of fairness and would apply it to her decision making. She loved animals and always had a dog by her side. Not only was she dedicated to her sons, she supported and encouraged her daughter through life and was always a safe place to return to for Lynda.
She was selfless and put her family first. As a homemaker and mother, she had many talents that she could of made successful in the workplace but ultimately loving and supporting her family was her passion. She was a caretaker and advocate not only to her children but to her grandchildren who she helped take care of and was an intricate part in their lives. She will be missed by all who loved her.
She succeeded in her goals of making all her children independent and successful in their lives.