Judith (Judy) Kirkpatrick Paterson, 76, of Port St. Lucie, Florida and formerly of Rye, NH passed away unexpectedly on November 3, 2012 in her home in Port St Lucie, Fl. Judy was born on November 23, 1935 in Minneapolis, MN and was the daughter of the late Clifford and Doris (Upton) Kirkpatrick. She attended school in Fitchburg, MA where she lived with her mother; however she was a Vermonter at heart as she spent many childhood summers at the Upton family farm in Whitingham, Vt.
Judy received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of New Hampshire in 1957 and obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work in 1982 from Simmons College in Boston. She married her best friend and lifelong love, David Paterson on June 16, 1957 and they shared many years together at their homes in Rye and Stratham until they retired to Florida in search of warmer weather in 2004.
Judy had a long professional career in social services, driven by her intense desire to help others and be an advocate for those in need. She began her career at the NH Department of Welfare in the late 70’s as a Protective and Foster services worker. She worked as a clinical social worker at NH Catholic Charities for many years before transitioning to the Seacoast Mental Health center where she was the Director of the Exeter and Epping offices. She worked as a senior EAP clinician at Exeter Hospital until 1992 when she opened a private practice as a licensed clinical social worker. She was a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers, as well as a licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in both NH and Mass.
Judy was known for her beautiful gardens, and not only her ability to cultivate plants and flowers, but also her ability to foster strong relationships with all who knew her. She had an intense love for her family and lifelong friends and was a devoted mother and grandmother. She touched the lives of many with her compassion, strong spirit and ability to make you feel right at home. She will be remembered and forever missed for so many things, including a unique ability to always be the last one sitting at any dinner table.
Judy was predeceased by her husband David, on August 4, 2009. Survivors include daughter and granddaughter, Sharon McKinney and Sage McKinney of Barrington, NH; son Jeffrey Paterson of Delray, FL; Aline Paterson and two grandchildren, Silas and Chance of Deerfield Beach, FL; siblings, Meredith Kirkpatrick of Salem, MA and brother Laird and wife, Lind Kirkpatrick of Washington DC. Judy also had numerous much loved friends, extended family and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 25 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home- Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad Street, Portsmouth, NH. There will be a memorial visitation starting at 2:30 until 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the American Heart Association.