Obituary: Patricia B. “Pat” Debany, 87, of Ridgefield
Pat was born on March 14th, 1931 in New York City NY to the late John and Helen Burke. Pat’s passions during her childhood were horses and sailing. She earned her degree in Psychology from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. That degree and her first studies in medical technology served her well in later pursuits.
Pat rode for the US Equestrian Team at Madison Square Garden in the early 1950s. In 1954 Pat married the love of her life, Warren, who was taken from her only 18 years later. Pat and Warren had the common interests of horses and sailing. Their farm was filled with horses, dogs, cats, and just the right number of children: ten. The years they spent together can be described as a beautiful dream; Warren remarked on several occasions that all he and Pat ever argued over were horses.
While Pat loved riding, she may have loved teaching horsemanship even more. She trained hundreds of children and adults to ride and care for horses. She donated her farm every week for 15 years to the charity Pegasus Therapeutic Riding.
Pat will be remembered for her strength. She had the strength of will to care for her ten children by herself, a physical strength that impressed all who tried to keep up with her, strength of loyalty to friends and family, and a wry sense of humor so strong that it was with her to the very end. Her love for animals was also legendary, and no story of her life would be complete without mention of her wonderful dog, Bing.
Pat was the loving mother of Warren Jr. (Beth), Thomas, Marie, Timothy (Betsy), Anthony (Lisa), Michael (Merri), Lawrence (Jacki), Alice (Rémi), and Richard (Patricia). Those who could proudly call her “Grandma” are Warren III, Christopher, Emma, Ryan, Olivia, Mary, Madison, Gregory, Samuel, Matthew, Nicholas, Mia, Neela, Nicolas, Lianna, Miranda, Julia, Steven, and James. She is survived by her sister Jane. She will also be remembered by her numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and many dear friends who are as close as family. Pat was predeceased by her husband Warren, son John (Maikki), her parents John and Helen, and siblings John Jr., Thomas, Michael, and Mary.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, May 7th at 10:00 am at St. Patrick's RC Church, 7 Pound Ridge Rd., Bedford, NY. Interment will follow at Middle Patent Rural Cemetery, 4 Bedford-Banksville Rd., Banksville, NY.
Because this is a celebration of Pat’s life, please feel comfortable to wear joyous attire! In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.