Patricia Lovejoy Stoddard died peacefully in her sleep at home on September 10, at the age of 91. A New Canaan resident since 1956, she was married to Hudson G. Stoddard for 63 years, until his death in 2017.
Born in Detroit, Michigan on December 2, 1930, Pat was the second of four children of Elijah Parish Lovejoy III and Jane Howell Lovejoy and is survived by a sister, Gail Neale, of Middlebury, VT. She was predeceased by her sister Cynthia Underhill Robinson and her brother, Elijah Parish Lovejoy IV.
She graduated from the Liggett School in Detroit in 1948 and went on to receive a B.A. in English from Cornell University in 1952. She moved to New York after graduation and became an editorial researcher at Time Inc. While there, she met her future husband, who was a special assistant to Publisher Henry Luce. Following their marriage, Pat taught briefly at the Dalton School before moving to Connecticut in 1956.
In 1968, she earned her MS in Education at Western Connecticut State College and worked at New Canaan Country School for the next decade. She taught 7th and 8th grade English, History, and Anthropology and served as Academic Dean. One of the great joys of Pat’s life was seeing her former students grow up, and hearing from them that those classroom years together had made some small difference in their lives. Pat went on to work in the corporate sector, as Assistant to the Chairman of Champion International Corporation (now International Paper) in Stamford, CT — and in that capacity served as speechwriter and oversaw employee and shareholder communications. She retired in 1993.
Pat enjoyed a rich life in New Canaan, and over the years served on numerous boards and civic organizations. She was a founding member of Staying Put in New Canaan, which provides essential services to Seniors who wish to stay in their own homes. She was a Staying Put volunteer until the week before her death. Pat also served on the boards of the New Canaan Library, the Horizons Student Enrichment program, the League of Women Voters and served on three New Canaan Charter Revision Commissions over the years. She and her husband were honored by the New Canaan Foundation in 2015 for their years of meaningful service to the community.
Pat loved painting, sculpting, gardening, reading, writing, and exploring the world and the great outdoors. As a couple, the Stoddards enjoyed special times with family and friends at the home they built on Block Island, RI. Pat treasured her friendships and loved a great party.
Patricia Lovejoy Stoddard was a descendant of notable figures in American history, including the Rev. Elijah Parish Lovejoy, the journalist and abolitionist, who was murdered by an angry pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois in 1837 — and John Howell, Thomas Edison’s chief engineer and co-developer of the electric light bulb. As an inventor he was awarded 50 patents, including the machinery that allowed the first mass-production of lighting.
Pat Stoddard is survived by her three children: Daniel Stoddard (Milagros Lecuona), Jane Stoddard Williams (Brian Williams), Alexander Stoddard (Lisa Wyatt Stoddard), by her grandchildren: Allison Williams (Alexander Dreymon), Douglas Williams (Emily Altieri), Caroline Stoddard, and Isadora Gacel Machado Lecuona. Pat also leaves behind a great-grandson, Arlo Dreymon-Williams, her favorite playmate over the last year. She was deeply engaged in the lives of her children and their families and was also dedicated to her extended family, arranging many visits and celebratory gatherings over the years.
Funeral services will be private. The family gratefully welcomes any donations in Pat’s name to The Speers-Stoddard Apprentice Teachers Fund at New Canaan Country School (PO Box 997 New Canaan, CT) or Staying Put in New Canaan (PO Box 484 New Canaan, CT)