Kindness, dedication, warmth, love and inspiration are just a few words used to describe Patty. She lived her values every day and the world was a better place with her in it.
Patricia (Patty) Anne McNally was born in San Diego, Calif., on March 17, 1951, to loving parents Marie and Peter J. Urrizola. She was the oldest of two children and a proud big sister when her brother, Nicholas, was born. The family moved to Stockton, Calif., where Patty attended St. Bernadette’s Elementary School and St. Mary’s High School, forming many lifelong friendships.
An honorary Irishwoman being born on St. Patrick’s Day, Patty joked she was meant to be with an Irishman. Sure enough, she met her future husband, James Patrick McNally, in eighth grade on a summer family camping trip. Patty may not have realized it then, but that was the beginning of a lifetime of love with James.
James and Patty married in 1975, and each day, for over 40 years, they loved and supported each other. They put down roots in Pacifica and in 1985 welcomed their beautiful daughter, Kelly Marie McNally. Patty and James were loving and devoted parents, always encouraging Kelly to live life to the fullest. They were overjoyed welcoming another family member when Kelly fell in love and married Brian Larson in 2013.
Patty was born with teaching in her blood. She was originally inspired by her mother, Marie, a grammar school teacher. For 47 years, Patty’s passion for her students was evidenced by the extra mile she always strove in supporting and encouraging their growth. Patty stressed the importance for students to not only succeed in core subjects but also encouraged them to be inclusive and thoughtful. She had a gift for recognizing what made each child special and ensured they saw it in themselves. Patty touched so many lives and often former students would share a treasured memory or just a small thank you for being a favorite teacher who made a positive impact in their lives. Patty always felt such pride in these moments.
Patty also found joy volunteering to make her Pacifica community a better place for all. As a long-standing board member of Pacificans Care, an active Negotiating Team member advocating for her fellow teachers, and through helping to establish an Emergency Fund for families struggling with unexpected challenges, Patty always looked out for others. Her generous spirit and fierce loyalty always shined through the causes she supported.
Patty may no longer be with us, but her impact will live on for all who knew her. Our hearts are broken, but as she would say, “The show must go on,” and we will move forward with Patty forever in our hearts. We will miss her every day; but find comfort in knowing she is in a better place and once again reunited with her beloved James.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pacificans Care, at pacificans-care.com or the American Cancer Society.