The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to all, for the prayers, support, comforting messages, calls, flowers, cards and gifts during this time of bereavement.
Patricia’s Service will be held in the West Chapel.
The car park is located in the grounds and has 80 spaces, plus two spaces for people with disabled parking permits.
The family will be celebrating Patricia’s life with floral tributes. They ask that, in place of flowers, guests honour Patricia’s name by making a donation to Dementia UK
The family will also be honouring Patricia by wearing a splash of pink here and there. Please feel free to do the same.
Patricia was born in Bridgwater, Somerset, on 18th October 1941. She was the only child of Muriel and Lesley Ricketts. Her father was a civil engineer and keen hobby artist. He encouraged Pat to draw with him from an early age and, while still at primary school, one of Pat’s early paintings, The Jackdaw of Riems, won a competition and was exhibited in the South London Art Gallery.
From the age of 16, Pat attended art classes at Goldsmiths, spurred on by her secondary school art teacher. She found herself under the tutelage of English sculptor and artist Samuel Rabin, who invited her to apply for an interview to attend the art school. She was awarded a place and gained an Intermediate in Arts and Crafts in 1960 and a National Diploma in Design in 1962.
Following her graduation, Pat put her immense creative talents to broad use, including working in the fields of milinery and costume design at Sadlers Wells Theatre. She reflected later in life that she had never envisaged becoming a teacher, but when an opportunity arose in 1962 to teach art at Catford County Girls School, she embraced it and began what would become a life-long commitment to educating others.
In the summer of the same year, Pat became a life model for English painter John Bratby. Their handwritten letters detail the arrangements they made for Pat to visit him in his Blackheath home. His paintings of Pat were later exhibited at the Zwemmer Gallery in London.
In 1963, Pat alighted a bus in New Cross, followed by a young man she had attended primary school with. He remembered her magnanimously as the girl whose drawing of a horse had surpassed his own and won the class competition. His name was John Colman and they married the following year in 1964. Their first daughter, Sally, was born in 1965.
Pat returned to teaching in 1969, taking up a new role at Saint Austin’s Roman Catholic Boys School in Charlton. She taught there for 15 years, during which time, Pat and John’s second daughter, Emily, was born in 1979. Pat took a sabbatical year shortly after Emily’s birth to complete a Goldsmiths Diploma. She ended her tenure at Saint Austin’s as Head of Art, before moving to the same role at Plumstead Manor School in January 1985.
For 16 years, Pat led one of the most successful departments in the school. Her team improved the GCSE results by 30 per cent. She was a much respected member of staff who made many lasting friendships in her years there. In addition to teaching, she took on the role of Examiner for London University, becoming a team leader. One examination assignment took her to a school in Bexley where her reputation for excellence preceded her. The Head of Art recognised her and quietly remarked to his colleague that she was formidable. His colleague, Geoff, replied: “She’s my mother-in-law.”
Sally’s marriage to Geoff produced two beloved grandsons for Pat and John. Max was born in 1995 and Theo in 1997. They all lived in the flat above Pat and John in Blackheath, as one large, extended family. This was a huge source of joy for Pat, particularly as her own father had left to work in South America when she was 10 and had never returned. Pat was raised a liberated woman by her devoted mother, Muriel, whom, having not been allowed to follow her own personal path with music, wholeheartedly supported Pat’s creative journey.
Muriel passed away in 2000, only one year before Pat retired, leaving her bereft. Muriel had always supported Pat in every way, including caring for Emily from the age of six months to enable Pat to return to teaching. Pat never got to spend any of her retirement with her mother, which brought her much sorrow.
In her final year at Plumstead Manor, Pat and John went on a cruise with a small group of staff and students to the eastern Mediterranean, visiting many ancient cities and attractions in Israel, Egypt and Crete. Aside from a brief trip to France during her childhood, it was the first time Pat had ventured away from British soil and it kindled a love affair for foreign travel. Before long, she was regularly taking trips to Gozo, where her close friends had a villa. She produced copious works of art based on the landscape of the island.
Pat retired in 2001 and, by 2003, was an active committee member and exhibitor at the Blackheath Arts Society. She had originally joined as a student, several decades before, and her work had been exhibited in the twin town exchange exhibition in Maribor, in the former Yugoslavia. She also taught voluntarily for the University of the Third Age, which she thoroughly enjoyed, and later attended life drawing classes with some very dear friends.
While Pat was a highly accomplished painter, sculptor and educator, her first and foremost love was her family. As her years in retirement rolled on, bestrewn with painting, gardening, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, printmaking, felting, photography, dressmaking and endless gadget collecting, a new son-in-law, Henrik, joined the family in 2009, and then two more beloved grandchildren arrived. Digby was born to Emily and her husband, Oli, in 2011 and Ottilie followed in 2014.
Pat devoted herself to her four grandchildren and will be fondly remembered for always having time to lay out some newspaper, paints and brushes and encouraging them all to be creative. She steadfastly followed the paths of their young lives and was always on hand to help both of her daughters.
Over the course of her lifetime, Pat produced a phenomenal body of work across many different media, latterly using mainly watercolours, pastels and acrylics to depict her local area and muchloved garden, portraits of the family, life drawings and landscapes from her travels.
Pat was taken by Dementia too soon, but will be lovingly remembered for her magnificent artistry, her industrious nature, her compassion for others, which brought her so many friends and, of course, her trademark bright pink lipstick!
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A selection of floral posies. Approximate sizes are:
A beautiful range of sympathy baskets. Approximate sizes include:
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