Patricia Milan – Celebrating a life

I want to talk a little bit about a wonderful lady that we lost two weeks ago: Patricia Milan (Anderson).

Thirteen years ago, Patricia was the very first person to knock on our door and welcome us to town. In the years since then, she has never begrudged me a smile and a kind word (or several) whenever I saw her.

Patricia and I had two big things in common: our love of art and of literature. I came into contact with her professionally when she was teaching a Fine Arts course at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom and I was on faculty. I was running the library at the time too, and I tried to do my best to accommodate her big art books on my little shelves.

A few years later when I started publishing a journal, she was one of the people who encouraged me most. It wasn’t an easy thing to do and she knew that. She was so good to me.

That was just a short while after she had recovered from what I had been firmly convinced she would never recover from. But the tiny woman did recover and my heart nearly stopped in me the first time I saw her up and about.

Eventually, yes, the cancer got her. But she managed to add ten more good years onto her life after that first wicked brush with cancer. I was just one of the beneficiaries of her added time. One of the many.

Patricia was a passionate and beautiful soul. And talented. All of these things she passed on to her 8 children in different ways and, likely, her 29 grandchildren too. Her gifts, thus, will remain with us in the Valley for many years to come.

There is something about her that perfectly expresses the good spirit of this place. True, she was an import. She was born in Toronto, and spent part of her youth in Windsor. Patricia graduated from Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, and then gained a diploma from the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Communication and Design.

But, regardless, her spirit was the spirit of this area: the Polish culture she received from her husband, Marek, and all the complementary gifts of art, intellect and soul she had of herself – you know the kind of person I mean, the kind of person who just has to end up here from Lord-knows-where?

Colin Kerr

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