Patricia Ann (Safreed) Ott was born in Akron, Ohio to parents Karl and Maude Safreed on October 24, 1934. The family lived in Akron where Patricia completed her education through high school. She attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio where she graduated with a degree in education.
In the spring of 1956 Patricia and one of her friends from Denison were undergoing their semester long student teaching practicum at Utica High School in Utica, Ohio. They both met the band director, David Ott. As the story goes, David called the dorm to ask the friend for a date but had Patricia and her friend’s names mixed up. He was surprised when he pulled up to the dorm at Denison and Patricia came out to meet him for the date. Even though David had meant to invite her friend on the date, the real Patricia stole his heart. The rest of the love story is history!
The happy couple was married on December 22, 1956. They had two children, Susan and Karl. Patricia put teaching on hold to stay home and care for her young children. In 1963 the family moved to Springfield, Ohio where she accepted a position teaching social studies at Hayward Jr. High School. In 1971 the family moved to Piqua, Ohio where she taught social studies at Wilder Jr. High School. She earned her Masters of Education and Masters of Counseling Degrees at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She accepted the position of School Counselor at Wilder Jr. High. She created and published techniques of dealing with hurt feelings and bullying at home and in school. She was a champion of helping young teenagers learn to sort out their fears and feelings and to grow into self-confident adults. After retiring from teaching and counseling at the Junior High, she continued her love of being an educator by teaching education courses at Edison State College in Piqua and became a Counselor to adult children of parents who had substance abuse difficulties.
Patricia was an inspiration to countless middle school aged students as well as provided focus and reality to countless adult clients. She provided hope and encouragement to those in her classroom, when other teachers could not or would not. She was a supportive friend to her colleagues and strived to work together for the benefit of all the students.
As a retiree, Patricia and David moved to Lake Worth, Florida to be close to their children and grandchildren, Kelsey, David and eventually, “Little” Karl. She began teaching at the Palm Beach Junior College, as it was known then. She was one of three teachers who were chosen by the college to initiate and implement an online educational platform. She learned how to design her own websites for classes and taught other teachers how to successfully teach online. She was named “Adjunct Professor of the Year” on two occasions at Palm Beach State College, as it is now known.
Patricia loved to babysit her grand children when they were pre-school aged, and well beyond. She and David took the grandchildren on many adventures to Disney, Universal Studios and on cruises. Even a walk around the block with the dogs became a great adventure for the grandchildren. She became very adept at planning “scavenger hunts” for the kids, who would beg to go to Grandma’s house just to go on a hunt. They also loved Grandma’s house because she had fun computer educational games, before computer educational games were fun. Because of Grandma, the grandchildren grew up knowing how to deal with disappointments and accomplishments, and how to celebrate differences among their friends and colleagues.
Patricia was always fiercely supportive of her family. She is survived by daughter Susan Rodberg (husband Eric Rodberg), son Karl Ott (wife Debra Pacana Ott), and her grandchildren Kelsey Alice Lin (daughter of Susan and Eric), David Kim Ott (son of Karl and Debra) and Karl Eric Rodberg (son of Susan and Eric). She was a loyal wife, mother and grandmother. She will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.
Patricia’s ashes will be interred with those of her late husband, David on February 11th in a private family only celebration of life at the Florida National Cemetery in Lantana, Florida. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in her name.