Obituary: Patricia McManus, 93, lifelong Ridgefielder

Patricia Potter McManus, a lifelong Ridgefielder, died Aug. 19 at her home surrounded by family and friends. She was 93 years old, wife of the late James J. McManus, and had lived for decades on Fairview Avenue.

Patsy, as she was known, was born on Nov. 26, 1919, a daughter of the late Patrick and Nellie (O’Brien) Potter. A native of Ridgefield, she grew up on the Scripps Estate and attended the Peter Parley Schoolhouse. She was a graduate of the class of 1937 from Ridgefield High School. Paul Baker now reigns as the last remaining member of this class.

Her first job was at Benedicts variety store, and during World War II she served on the Civilian Defense Force and the American Womens Voluntary Services as a certified motor repair mechanic. She joined the tax office in 1966, was appointed assistant tax collector and served as tax collector until her retirement in 1986. She was the recipient of the State of Connecticut State Tax Collectors Award. She was an avid walker and would take early morning walks through town, finishing with attendance at the 7 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s. She was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Parish, the Rosary Society, the Adoration Society, and frequent altar server.

Mrs. McManus was a talented seamstress, creating many of her own and her children’s clothing, her family said. She was famous for her unique velvet and silk ribbon Christmas ornaments sold at Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue, they said. She volunteered her time and talents widely for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church and school activities. A lifelong education advocate, she was an avid reader to the end.

She was devoted to her family and was an extraordinary wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend, the family said. She enjoyed the chaos of a large and loving family, hosting frequent family gatherings to celebrate any and all occasions, they said. “Patsy was well known for her quick laugh and sense of humor, qualities that sustained her and all of us.  She will be missed by all.”

Her husband of 59 years and her son Peter James died before she did.  She is survived by her sister Rita Potter, her daughters and husbands Michele and John Masi of Danbury, Eileen and Edward Dempsey of Avon, Maureen and Richard Gawlik of Andover, Mass., Sheenah and Philip Mische of Ridgefield; her son and wife Mark and Elizabeth McManus of Ridgefield; grandchildren Kim Romero, Kristen Stolfi, Christopher Masi, Katherine Aydin, Michael Masi, Andrea DiGiovanni, Shelagh Dempsey, Sandra McGrath, Stephen Gawlik, Sean Masi, Julie Gawlik, Matthew Masi, Thomas Gawlik, James Dempsey, Jason Lee, Mary Shepheard, Michael Extance, Colleen McManus, Jack Mische, Nik Mische, and 30 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Regional Hospice & Homecare of Western Connecticut or Danbury Nurses Registry.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 10:15 a.m., in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

—by the staff