TRIBUTES have poured in as the people here mourn the loss of Patricia Donald, a community campaigner who dedicated her life to helping others.
Patricia (80) a retired nurse, passed away peacefully at SWAH on Thursday following a short illness.
Born in Dublin and raised in Cork, Patricia undertook nursing training in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and later settled in Enniskillen, working across the Western Trust and after progressing her career was appointed chief administrative nursing officer for the Western Trust.
She was a vocal health campaigner and was avidly involved in promoting pensioners services through her work with the Senior Citizen’s Consortium and the South West Ageing Partnership (SWAP). Her commitment to helping others was recognised in January as she was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.
Patricia is survived by niece Rosalynd and nephew Jonathan. Rosalynd Boyce described her aunt as “a lovely person”.
“Anything she undertook she fully embraced. Her church underpinned everything she did and she was heavily involved in Darling Street Methodist.”
Rosalynd also commented on Patricia’s flare for education.
“We heard lots of stories about how Patricia influenced others. She loved children and went the extra mile to treat people and was a great gift giver. She liked to love and liked to be loved. Jonathan and I were lucky to have her growing up.”
Patricia had been chairwoman for SWAP for almost 10 years. Colleague Allison Forbes described Patricia as kind, ‘compassionate, and most importantly enthusiastic’.
“Patricia steered our Board and staff team in a gentle yet determined way, offering guidance, advice and support where she could. Patricia’s knowledge of issues affecting older people was fantastic, she used this knowledge to make change and encourage others to do the same.
“Patricia’s positivity and love for people just shone out and I’d like to think that we can nurture that and continue to offer support to our own older people, just as she did.”
Rev Lorna Dreaning said Patricia was a huge part of the church and will be ‘sorely missed’ by all.
“She had a great heart, she was a person who had a vision for the church and was very much modern in everything that she thought. She wasn’t an advocate for keeping things as they were, she was keen to see things move forward. I know for us personally she will be sorely missed. She was definitely one of a kind.
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