PATRICIA REMSEN WILLIAMS FAULKNER
March 13th 1953 - December 30th 2020
Pat was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, the youngest in a sibship of three (older sister Laurie - born 1948; older brother Chip - born 1950) to Margaret ‘Peggy’ (Van Vechten) and Mansfield ‘Smoky’ Williams. Both her parents had served in the US Armed Forces during World War II (Peggy as a Navy pilot, grounded during the war as a control tower operator; Smoky as a Marine, fighting on Iwo Jima and serving in the Japanese occupation).
Growing up in Wilbraham during the 50's was in many ways the idyllic life portrayed in family ‘sit-coms.’ Peggy was an involved stay-at-home Mom, and Smoky was a hard-working research chemist, creating many products for Monsanto (most memorably poly-vinyl-chloride or PVC). However, Smoky had a temper, and probably complex PTSD from his service in the Marine Corps. So life resembled at times boot camp, or as brother Chip commented “we grew up in a Marine environment ... and I don’t mean by the water.”
But she did spend lots and lots of lovely time by the ocean. The family built a summer home on Masons’ Island (off the coast of Mystic, CN) and sailing was central to that life. When she graduated from high school (St. Timothy’s School, Stevenson, Maryland in 1971), with a gift from her maternal grand-mother, Pat bought her own sail-boat. And proved to be a skilled, winning sailor.
The family had moved from Wilbraham, MA to Princeton, NJ in 1963, so that Smoky could start work with Tenneco as head of their R & D division (he invented ‘fake leather’ there). None of the kids really made connections there, partly as they were off first to boarding schools, and then to college. Pat attended Bates College, graduating in 1975, having made some solid friends. After a somewhat miserable year living back in Princeton, and teaching at a parochial school, Pat decided to move out to Santa Monica, joining Laurie and her young family.
Rather quickly, Pat started to emerge and develop her own interests and identity. She began to study the Bahai faith and converted. She worked as an artist at a craft shop in West LA, attending craft fairs, and creating unique art pieces (notably hand-painted eggs). At a craft fair she met the love of her life Dean Faulkner. Luckily, she was the love of his life as well, and they married in 1981.
They started living what Pat describes as an “artistic, bohemian lifestyle,” focused on making toys and selling them at craft fairs all over the West Coast. Pat was able to make a Bahai pilgrimage to the Middle East and visit some of the most sacred Holy places in 1985. The couple settled in Grants’ Pass, Oregon in the late 1980's and built their business ‘The Toy Box.’ The craft fair life suited them well, and they delighted in dressing in costumes (particularly for the Renaissance Faire) and being with creative, ‘crafty’folk. Wanting to enlarge their family, they adopted two sons, Matthew (born 1992) and Joshua (born 1994).
Her life continued to grow and flourish. Creativity and spiritual practices remained at the center for her. One cousin describes her visits to a Renaissance Faire in their area as “Pat added much drive, joy and enthusiasm (God with us-ism).” A lot of changes started to happen about six years ago. Josh married Ashley, and they had their first son Jaden a year later. Pat’s mother died at age 93 (2015), and both her brother Chip and father started having multiple health issues. Pat herself was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer (Stage IV) in January, 2018 and elected to undergo both chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Her father Smoky died in July, 2019 and her brother Chip followed shortly thereafter in November, 2019.
Happily, Pat and Dean, in October, 2019, had moved to their dream-house in Merlin, Oregon (named after the bird, not the wizard ... although the wizard would be appropriate). They filled the house with lovely art, books and creative arts they had collected over the years. When she finally entered Hospice care at home, Pat was surrounded by people who loved her and living her last days in peace and beauty.