by Teddie-Joy Remhild
As an ACB member for over 21 years, I have noted the passing of many devoted leaders and advocates. I am writing today of the passing of a devoted member, a hard-working advocate and in addition, a true friend.
Patricia La France Wolf was born Nov. 21, 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio. She passed away June 5, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif. She was one of the first people I met at my first ACB convention in Phoenix in 1992. She had her guide dog, Rudy, with her. He was her first guide dog, soon to be followed by several more over the years. She loved the organization and especially the guide dog affiliate, GDUI. She also loved having a good time with friends.
Pat and I attended many conferences together, both the state conventions of the California Council of the Blind and the national ACB conventions. She also was one of the founders of the new affiliate, Diabetics in Action, and was looking forward to attending the 2013 convention in Columbus for all of the above reasons, but also to visit her home state and her sister who still lives there. I believe that she was also considering a run for president of the Diabetics in Action.
Pat had been diagnosed with type-one diabetes as an infant and was very committed to education of diabetics and their families. She was actually considered a medical miracle, having lived well past her 70th birthday with this devastating disease. The Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company had honored her for that reason some years ago and brought her to Boston for that recognition. During her life of living with type 1 diabetes, she had not only overcome blindness, but several heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, mesenteric arterial surgery and two years on dialysis.
Prior to her vision loss Pat had been a registered nurse, working with both pediatrics and the emergency room. Subsequent to her vision loss, she returned to college to obtain her master's degree in rehabilitation. She then spent 20 more years as a state rehab counselor here in California. More than an organizational colleague, Pat and I shared a close friendship for over 20 years, based on the many parallels we shared in life, as well as our mutual love of life and travel and fun! We were both single parents, married twice, experienced vision loss after age 30 and a late life return to college for career advancement.
We always remembered birthdays, celebrated Christmas and New Year's and loved retail therapy and doing lunch! She was also passionate about rock and roll.
I will remember her love of life, her family and her friends. I am blessed to have been one of them.