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Patricia Redfern Sutherland

Obituary for Patricia Redfern Sutherland

July 31, 1942 - March 4, 2017
Gloucester, Massachusetts | Age 74


Patricia Redfern Sutherland of Gloucester died peacefully at Beverly Hospital, March 4, 2017, surrounded by love. Born in the Croftfoot Neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland on July 31,1942, she is predeceased by her brothers Edwin and John. She is survived by her twin sister and brother, Elizabeth and Richard, both 66; her niece Sue Sutherland, 45, and her nephew, David Sutherland, 43. Family members live in both Scotland and England. Patricia leaves behind a wide circle of devoted friends.

Members of the Sutherland Clan, Patricia and her relatives have always had pride in their Scottish heritage and traditions including their Sutherland Clan Motto, Sans Peur (Without Fear), the theatre, literature and all types of music. Patricia's immigration to the US, her academic and artistic accomplishments, and her capacity for innovation and new experience were all part of her personal motto, to live a life without fear. Her bold spirit, dry humor, friendship and intellectual and oratory gifts will be sorely missed.

Patricia trained as an LPN in Scotland, then emigrated to the United States in 1965 to work at Boston's Jewish Memorial Hospital. She married David Morse in 1969, lived on the North Shore, and worked at hospitals in Salem and Lynn, and at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Hospital for several years. When her marriage ended, Patricia pursued a degree from Emmanuel College in Boston and graduated with a B.S. in Nursing in 1984. After two additional years of schooling and work at University Hospital, Patricia complete her Master in Psychiatric Nursing degree at Boston University in 1986, becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Patricia worked as a psychiatric CNS in several hospitals in the Boston area before moving to Gloucester in 1991. Just prior to the move, in 1990, she began her own management consulting firm, PRS Associates. She worked at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. from 1990—1993 as a consultant to the vice-president for nursing, providing executive team building services and strategic planning services. While she was at McLean Hospital, Patricia expanded her work into other Boston area psychiatric care facilities and systems including Charles River Hospital and Charles River Health Management. Later, she played major roles in improving psychiatric care and enhancing the quality of care systems, working with the leaders of Choate Health Systems, Walden Behavioral Care and Boston Medical Center. She taught nursing students at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences during this period.

Her full time professional consulting life continued through 2003. After 2003, she continued to consult on a special request basis for behavioral care organizations. At the same time, she continued to pursue her passion, a full time venture into becoming an artist in her own chosen discipline, writing.

Among her favorite artistic activities were Shakespearean and other theatrical performances, a wide variety of literary traditions including Celtic and Scottish folk music, opera, and jazz. One of Patricia's biggest passions was a deep appreciation for literature and poetry. She especially loved the poetry and songs of Robert Burns, the beloved national bard of Scotland. She created a local tradition of annual Burns Nights among her friends on Cape Ann, celebrating the bard's birthday with his songs and poems, accompanied by traditional and favorite foods and libations of the guests. She always made sure that there was a group sing of her favorite song, "My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose". These nights were magical and connected Patricia all at once to Burns, her homeland, her friends, and the great diaspora of Scots - and fellow lovers of Burns the world over - who annually celebrate his birthday and life on January 25.

Patricia wrote stories from time to time, about growing up in Glasgow, and in the summer of 2000, her short story, "The Bully Jeffery Semple" was published in the Scottish literary journal "Cutting Teeth,"by the Glasgow Arts and Cultural Development Office and the Scottish Arts Council. This story became a cornerstone of Patricia's memoirs, "I Belong To Glasgow," stories of growing up in Glasgow and her adventures as she became an American nurse.

In June 2004, Patricia enrolled and successfully completed the prestigious Bennington College Master of Fine Arts in Writing program. In June 2006, at age 64, she graduated with an MFA in Writing. During this period and during the next decade, she worked on her memoirs, "I belong to Glasgow," a series of short stories.

In May, 2008, Patricia founded The Folly Cove Literature and Writing Series. These literary workshops were on writings by Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather and other female writers. Her seminar on Virginia Woolf included "A Room of One's Own," "Mrs. Dalloway," "To The Lighthouse," and "The Waves." Each series concluded with a festive meal of delicious food and wine and were enjoyed by all who attended.

Since 2010, Patricia has continued writing and supporting artistic organizations and individuals in the Cape Ann Community through volunteering, organizing, donating time, and enhancing Cape Ann performances. Until her passing, Patricia continued to encourage individuals and groups to hold events, take risks and expand their performing boundaries.

As one of her good friends, an artist whom she had encouraged to develop his Celtic, Scottish and Gaelic singing skills said: "Ah, that Patricia Redfern Sutherland, hard to believe she's gone. She was a 'braw lassie'!"

We all miss you, Patricia

A memorial service for Patricia will be held on April 29 at 11 am at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St., Gloucester.

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61 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
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