In Memory

Patricia Bates (McGhee)



Patricia "Pat" Bates McGhee passed away peacefully on New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1, 2023 at Symphony Healthcare in Evanston, IL.

Pat was born April 27, 1949 in Cincinnati, OH to Patrick J. Bates and Lois E. (Walker) Cameron. She grew up in Eau Claire, WI, graduating from Memorial High School in 1967. Pat attended and graduated from her beloved alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree (1972) in journalism and minor in French. Patricia enjoyed a decades-long career as a writer. She worked as a technical editor for Environmental Science & Engineering in Gainesville, FL and, later, as a journalist and public relations publications specialist at the University of Florida. Patricia's detailed work behind the scenes helped others shine.

Pat was an ardent supporter of the arts, volunteering her time on behalf of the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, Gainesville Suzuki Players and the Alachua County Youth Orchestra among other arts organizations. She sang in the choirs of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, the Unitarian Church of Evanston, the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and Chicago's "Too Hot to Handel" Gospel Messiah Chorus.

Patricia had an adventurous spirit, generous nature and open heart. She cherished family vacations on the Florida coast, trips abroad with husband Max, and lively dinners with their friends in the "Gourmet Club". She loved music, dancing, books, cats, the French language, and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Florida Gators.

Pat is survived by three daughters, Kerri Rinaldi, Kelli (Kenneth) Edmondson, Sarah (Karl) Montzka and grandchildren, Kameron, Dominick, Katherine and Luke. She is also survived by her "bonus mom" Colleen Bates; three sisters, Cynthia Bates Brown, Margaret Bates Higlely, Erin Ameline; brother, Dr. Sean Bates and former spouse, James Bylander.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Max B. McGhee. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Patricia's name to the University of Wisconsin's Initiative to End Alzheimer's at the UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center:

A "Celebration of Life" gathering will be held in summer 2023 for family and close friends.


Published by Leader Telegram on Jan. 11, 2023

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01/03/23 05:22 PM #4    

Jean Behnke (Wisnewski)

I remember Pat from high school and fondly remember  her as kind and nice person.  I'm so sorry to hear of her passing.  It is sad to lose another class member from such a great class. Friends and family keep your memories close. R.I.P.

01/03/23 06:22 PM #5    

Sue Monty (Thomasgard)

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of our classmate Pat Bates. We were friends in high school and in many classes together throughout junior high and high school, especially French and German class and had fun on the annual French Club trips to Minneapolis. We had German class right after French class and annoyed Herr Hillestadt by frequently responding to questions with "oui" instead of "ja". I am happy that I had a chance to sit and talk to Pat for a long time at our 45 year reunion.  She was a a beautiful, intelligent person who was always kind to everyone. She will be missed by those who knew her. My sympathies go out to her family.  Repose en paix, mon ami.

01/03/23 10:06 PM #6    

Sheryl Manthei (Rudd)

I am saddened to hear of Patty Bates passing. My sympathies go out to her family and friends. She will be miss but the memories of her live on in every one she knew. God speed and God bless.

01/03/23 10:06 PM #7    

Sheryl Manthei (Rudd)

I am saddened to hear of Patty Bates passing. My sympathies go out to her family and friends. She will be miss but the memories of her live on in every one she knew. God speed and God bless.

01/04/23 08:19 AM #8    

Diane Strand (Vinopal)

I am so sorry to hear of Pat's passing. I first met Patricia in Arlington Heights elementry school where we quickly became good friends. We reamind close through Junior High with many Sleep overs, house parties, movies, etc.  In High School we drifted in different directions and Some where along the way we lost track of each other. I will always remeber Pat as the smart brilliant beautiful person she was. It pains me to think that her final days were suffering from Alzheimers Disease. Rest in peace my friend. 

01/04/23 02:05 PM #9    

Margaret White (Grudem)

Pat was a dear friend.  We took dance classes together in grade school, went to the same church and remained friends in high school and saw each other after we got married.  I have thought of her often since I saw her after she left Minnesota.

01/07/23 02:44 PM #10    

Julie Wollum (Holzinger)

It has taken me several days to think about what to post here because I could write a book.  Patty and I became friends in 7th grade and it was a friendship that lasted our whole lives.  Though we didn't see each other in person very often as adults, we always picked up right where we left off no matter how much time had passed.  Some of our adventures in HS were going to Madison for state basketball tournament, being "extras" in 2 of the annual musicals, which she really had to coax me into, and convincing Mr. Paulson, the choir teacher, to let us be in concert choir part time on the days we didn't have gym class.

Patty gave me an appreciation for musical theater that I have enjoyed all my life.  She was so intelligent, a gifted writer and an accomplished musician, playing cello in the Jacksonville symphony when she lived in Florida.  We always laughed a lot and had so much fun whenever we were together.  I have missed her so much these past 6 years since she was diagnosed with Alzheimers - such a cruel disease to those who loved her.  I will always miss her, but wouldn't wish her back to suffer even longer than she did.  My faith tells me that we will laugh together again someday as the dear friends we were in our Earthly lives.  My life was enriched and blessed in countless ways because I was lucky enough to be her friend.  She lives on in all of us that were touched by her.

01/08/23 11:42 AM #11    

Annette Zuehlke (Olson)

I was fortunate enough to meet Patty in kindergarten at Arlington heights and remain friends through high-school. She was a sweetheart and very smart. Mary Smith and I went to Brownie at her house, as her mom was the leader. So sorry for her illness and passing.

01/09/23 10:42 AM #12    

Catherine McRae (Haasl)

I am sorry to hear of Patty's passing, but I think she truly is in a better place. As Julie said, we will all get a chance to meet up with her again.  I met Patty in first grade at Arlington Heights.  We were pretty close friends throughout grade school, but then drifted apart during ninth grade . Her mom was a Brownie leader for a while.  It was such a large group of girls, I think everyone's mom was a leader at one time or another.  We enjoyed hanging out at each other's house after school and at the ice skating rinks.  The last time I saw Patty was at her dad's visitation about 10 years ago.  We spent quite a bit of time catching up..  She even invited me to spend a weekend in Chicago.  This is one of those times I wish I had gone.  Patty was such a talented, smart, and wonderful friend, who will be missed by everyone whose lives she touched.  My condolences to her family and friends.  RIP, Patty.

01/09/23 12:42 PM #13    

Kathleen Jorgensen (Church)

I did not know Patti well, but well enough to know what a special person she was. We were confirmed together and were closer in junior high than high school, then in the years since,we communicated through a mutual friend, a journalist friend of mine who became close to Patti.  She was a kind person, beautiful inside and out. 

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