Patricia Ann Matthews

May 3, 1935 - October 16, 2022

05/03/1935 - 10/16/2022

Patricia Ann Matthews, 87, of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away on October 16, 2022, peacefully and in her beloved Sandbridge Beach home.

Patricia, born on May 3, 1935, to Frank and Anna Zebrowksi of Bensalem, PA, was a fiery and bright soul, remembered for her engaging laughter and sparkling bright blue eyes. Patricia attended St. Dominic’s Catholic School and was a graduate of Bensalem Township High School, class of 1953. Athletic by nature and always up for a challenge, she received a Varsity Letter in 9th grade for field hockey and upon graduation from high school was offered a position on a professional field hockey team. After graduation, Patricia pursued a career in fashion working in the ladies department at Bonwit Teller, managing displays and putting on fashion shows.

On June 2, 1956, Patricia married her high school sweetheart, Gene, who had given her his boy scout ring in 8th grade! The Navy took Gene and Patricia to various duty stations in the United States, where they met life-long friends along the way.   As Navy life slowed down, they established their first permanent home, finding Great Bridge in Chesapeake, Virginia, the perfect community to raise their two young daughters.  Patricia and Gene enjoyed volunteering as Girl Scout Leaders and were founding members of  Prince of Peace Catholic Church.   Patricia excelled in long-term substitute teaching positions in physical education as well as special education. After Gene’s retirement from the Navy, the family moved to Sandbridge Beach. Patricia decided to pursue a dream, and Pat’s Gardening was born.

If you ever had the pleasure of speaking to Patricia about any plant, native seagrasses, natural pesticides, or the difference between a gardener and a landscaper, you knew of her gift for gardening. She delighted in sharing her green thumb, and created beautiful gardens and landscapes with plants that thrived in the beach environment. Patricia obtained her Master Gardener Certification after completing many hours of volunteer work and continuing education coursework. As a Master Gardener she manned the Grow Line for the Virginia Beach Extension office, taking calls from citizens and answering their yard and landscaping questions. When the weather turned colder, Pat and Gene traveled in their motor home to favorite places like Sedona and Scottsdale, Arizona and Naples, Florida. They volunteered in state parks, maintaining camping areas and beautifying the grounds. Patricia loved collecting interesting plants, and found many along the way, including a Century Plant (American Agave) which flourished at home under her care. If you drive around Sandbridge today you will see many yards with this unique plant, as offshoots of her original Century Plant were transplanted and incorporated into neighbors’ landscapes.

Pat and Gene were married for almost 50 years and had many friends who visited often, and enjoyed her fabulous cooking. Patricia was a devoted Catholic and cherished her church and her faith. Always the life of the party, Patricia loved the Navy, a man in uniform, and her family. Her absence will leave a void that will never be filled, and those that knew her are left with memories to cherish in the years to come.

Patricia was predeceased by her husband Gene, brothers Donny and Robert, and sister Joan. She is survived by her children Marcia Hagwood (Grey) and Lisa Roland (Richard Stout), as well as her grandchildren MacKenzie McKnight (Jim), Bryant Hagwood (Kate), Elizabeth Seward (Scott), Taylor Roland, and Garret Roland, as well as great-grandchildren Greyson McKnight, Piper Hagwood, and Hudson Hagwood.

The family wants to thank Carrie Kaufman for her years of compassion and dedication to Patricia as a primary caregiver. We would also like to thank Missy Reo, who came weekly to spend a few hours with Pat to brighten up her day, and the nurses from Freida Gordon Hospice.  Angels do walk amongst us. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Mayo Clinic in support of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research.

A funeral mass will be held on December 2 at 10:00 am at St. John The Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 1968 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach, 23456 with a reception following in the church commons.

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