Patricia Ann Cullen Deeley was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 3, 1922 and went home to God on March 16, 2020. She was predeceased by her husband, Honorable William Joseph Deeley Jr (1918-1987). Pat and Bill were married on June 15, 1946. After World War II, they first lived on North Brother Island in the Bronx and then settled in the Village of Merrick, Long Island where they raised their ten children: Patricia Rice (Edward), William Deeley III (Anne Maureen Flynn), Christine Deeley-Wood (Richard), Victoria Nazzaro (Edmund), Paul (Benita Waddell), Mary Deeley (Kip Larsson), Barbara Horio (Glenn), Jane Deeley (John David), Andrew Peter, and Ann (Emmett Mattes).
Pat and Bill were blessed with 24 grandchildren, Eddie, Trisha (Scott), Amy (Geof), Robert, Katie (Josh), Liam (Missy), Nick (Chris), Cullen (Kahi), Eamon (Aiyana), Mairead, Edmund (Karen), Moira (Chris), Emily (Eric), Megan, Andrew Paul (Esther), Joseph, Matthew (Jessica), Brendan (Staci), Isabelle, Declan, Elizabeth (Michael), Maggie (Anthoni) , Andrew William and Helen as well as 25 great-grandchildren; Madilyn, Makenzie, Jonathan, Peyton, Cohan, Harper, Kylie, Liv, Noah, Owen, Maeve, CJ, Max John, Thaddeus, Benjamin, Julia, Rossi, Liam, Katie, Aidan, Corinna, Evie, Olivia, Kellen and Rosalind.
Pat attended St. Savior High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and a master’s degree from Adelphi University. Although she taught history for several years at Adelphi, most of her life was spent in service to others. When her children were asked how they would describe their mother, they all said she was a woman of deep faith with an unfailing commitment to service to others. It is almost impossible to name all those causes that captured Pat’s heart, but among the most important were her work at her parish of Cure of Ars where she shared her Catholic Christian faith with middle school students for 25 years and served as a lector as well as a Eucharistic Minister. She also helped establish Regina Residence, a residential home for pregnant women in need. Pat worked tirelessly for Catholic Charities, the Damien-Dutton Society and The Association for the Help of Retarded Children. She was a driving force in establishing 13 group homes for the physically and intellectually disabled and served on both the elementary and secondary boards of education in Merrick as well as on the Nassau County Board of Elections. (Pat’s children understood that in their home, the only serious sins were neglecting to vote or not writing a “thank you” note). Many of her children and grandchildren learned the importance of service by accompanying Pat to the Interfaith Soup Kitchen in Freeport - The Inn during her 20 years of service to this organization.
Pat received the Saint Agnes Medal for her service to the Diocese of Rockville Centre and was also honored by St. John’s University, New York with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal. However, of all her accolades, receiving the Mother of the Year Award from her local newspaper was the one she viewed as her finest tribute.
For all her devotion to organizations that served our marginalized sisters and brothers, Pat would always make time to listen to and mentor those individuals who needed guidance and support.
Pat loved the beach and liked to travel and explore new places. She shared with her family, after the fact, that she had gone parasailing in Florida on her 80th birthday. Pat also loved music, be it show tunes or classical music. However, her true passion was the opera; a love which she inherited from her father and passed down to her children.
For the last several years of her life, Pat’s declining health necessitated assistance with the activities of daily living. Through it all she was kind and courteous to all she met, and her greatest joys were being with her family, her caregivers and the Pastoral Care Ministers who brought her the Eucharist and prayed with her. All those who encountered Pat during these years remember that she was unfailingly gracious, polite and the words “Thank you” were ever on her lips.
All who knew Patricia Deeley understood that God was the center of her life and are most grateful that she is now home with Him and all her family’s saints.
If you would like to give a donation in Pat’s name, please consider Catholic Charities www.catholiccharities.org, www.the-inn.org. or Special Olympics www.specialolympics.org.
When travel permits, there will be a memorial Mass at Cure of Ars Catholic Church in Merrick and an internment at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, New York.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia Deeley, please visit our floral store.