It is with heavy hearts and sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of
Patricia (Pat), following illness, at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in
Halifax, Nova Scotia. The daughter of Viola Vaters and guardian Ron Gates, Pat is
predeceased by her loving mother, Viola, to whom Pat was close, and spoke of
fondly. Pat is survived by cousins, and aunt Geraldine Parsons (Cambridge, ON)
and Uncle Ralph Vaters (Barrie, ON).
Born in Glace Bay, her Cape Breton home of which she was incredibly proud, and
raised in Reserve Mines where she was a member of Gordon United Church. In
her twenties Pat moved to Halifax, where she lived until her passing.
Pat was defined by her passion for betterment of life for people with disabilities.
Living with vision loss and diabetes, Pat was committed to embodying what was
possible in life and lived with energy, drive, compassion, and kindness. She also
possessed a grand sense of humour and a biting wit, neither of which were lost in
her last months – if anything, they were more present than ever!
Pat was employed at Dalhousie University for many years and had a storied
history as a celebrated volunteer. She volunteered for many years with the
Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and was committed to ensuring buildings in
the city of Halifax, such as the new Central library, and all libraries across the
province, would become accessible not only for people living with blindness but
all disabilities. Pat was involved with taking concerns to the local municipal level
to improve safety in the city for pedestrians and public transportation. Her work
expanded to the national level, where she acted as the initial chair of the CCB
National Advisory Committee. Beyond this, Pat engaged in many other volunteer
endeavors included but not limited to Independent Living NS and other
Accessibility Advisory Committees in HRM. She will be missed greatly by her
friends and colleagues in the sector, and particularly at CCB.
Even in her most recent times in hospital, she was anxious to get well enough to
“get back to her work” and spoke at length about the progress that was still left to
Pat was an animal lover and was committed to the feline friends she loved
throughout her life. She was predeceased by her cats Sydney and Maybelline,
whom she loved dearly, and is survived by her cat Piper. Pat and Piper found each
other through the NSSPCA in 2016, and she became Pat’s life. She is being well
loved in her new home with a good friend.
Speaking of friends, Pat was an incredibly loyal one and she will be sorely missed
by those of us who had the fortune to have her in our lives. Like many folks, Pat’s
friends were very much her family and she treated them as such. Many, many
thanks to the friends who were there for her in so many ways throughout her life,
and especially those who were able to be with her in her final week.
Pat, you were a wonderful person and loyal friend. We are so glad that you got to
take a road trip in 2021 to your treasured homeland of Cape Breton, and you will
return there at your request to be laid to rest with your beloved mother, Viola.
We will all miss your cheeky humour and warmth. Rest well our dear friend. You
will not be forgotten.
Cremation and interment of ashes has taken place under the guidance of Forest
Haven Memorial Gardens, as per Pat’s wishes.
Expressions of sympathy and memorial wishes can be made via
Memorial donations can be made in lieu of flowers, to the Nova Scotia SPCA.
Due to COVID and winter weather restrictions, an informal celebration of life will
follow in spring 2023. If you would like to stay informed on details, please email