We have received notice that the Essex community is invited to attend a memorial service for Pat Parsons one week from today. The following invitation was shared by Pat Parsons’ family.
We just want to let you know that we will be having a memorial service for Pat Parsons in Essex on Friday, July 4th, at 4 pm at St. John’s Church followed by a reception at the Little Brick House. Martinis and ice cream will be served!
We hope you may be able to join us.
Laurie, Amy, Paul, Isabel & Henry
Pat Parsons’ Obituary
The following obituary for longtime Essex resident, artist and bon vivant appeared in the Burlington Free Press December 4, 2013:
Patricia O’Brien Parsons, 83, of Redding, Conn., and Essex, N.Y., and formerly of Burlington, Vt., passed away in Danbury, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, following a brief illness.
Born to Isabel Munroe O’Brien and John Larkin O’Brien, in Albany, N.Y., on May 26, 1930, Pat attended St. Agnes School in Albany and graduated from Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn., and Vassar College. Before moving to Burlington in the early 1980s, Pat lived in Bedford, N.Y., where she raised a family and owned a contemporary art gallery, Webb & Parsons. Upon seeing the artwork of an inmate named Inez Nathaniel Walker at the nearby Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in the early 1970s, she started showing and collecting the work of self-taught artists as well.
After arriving in Burlington, she opened Webb & Parsons North, adjacent to the Flynn Theater, where she exhibited works by contemporary and selftaught artists. She continued to operate as a private dealer after closing her gallery space downtown, mounting shows in her condominium at Overlake and involving herself in communitybased art events, most notably the Hay Project in 1998, a series of art installations and educational programs at Shelburne Farms and elsewhere in Vermont, which united farmers, artists and environmentalists in a summer-long celebration of hay.
“I always think that hayfields are magnificent and am aware that they are shrinking as the farms are shrinking and the agricultural industry is challenged,” she said at the time. Pat was an ardent advocate for the arts in Vermont, presenting shows by Vermont artists Dug Nap, Gayleen Aiken and Larry Bissonnette, among others, and supporting Burlington City Arts and the Vermont Studio Center, where she was a board member for many years. Pat shared her love of art passionately, insistently and generously, and she donated many works from her collection of selftaught art to museums, including the American Folk Art Museum and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar, where her collection was the subject of an exhibition, “Faith and Fantasy in Outsider Art,” in 2009. An artist herself, Pat saw beauty everywhere she looked. Her extraordinary enthusiasm for life, art, people and martinis will be greatly missed by her family and her many friends of all ages.
Pat was predeceased by her brothers, Jerry and Duncan O’Brien; and her former husband, James O. Parsons Jr. She is survived by her daughters, Laurie of Hoboken, N.J., and Amy of Bedford Hills, N.Y., and Amy’s husband, Paul Bird, and their children, Isabel and Henry. (Burlington Free Press)
Pat Parsons Gallery
The following images of Pat Parsons were share by her on her Facebook page. They capture some of the many faces and seasons of this remarkable woman.
Share Your Memories
Please feel free to share your memories of Pat in the comment section below.