Obituary: Annette Doolittle Patterson / Opened Shadyside businesses, part of 'core' in that area

1926 - Nov. 11, 2013

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Annette Doolittle Patterson, a Point Breeze native whose commercial shops in Shadyside made her a fixture among those living and working there, died Monday in the Oakland apartment where she was living. She was 87.

Ms. Patterson, born in 1926, graduated with The Ellis School's Class of 1944, her family said. She attended what is now Chatham University and traveled extensively in her adult life.

In 1950, she married Oliver M. Kaufmann Jr., a member of the Kaufmann's department store family. The Pittsburgh Press article about their wedding noted that they took "a month's honeymoon in Paris and the Riviera."

In 1961, she married Alan Ross Patterson, who worked in real estate and owned a lumber company in Boston, Pa., and, as a car racing enthusiast, helped to create the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Her family recalled how the couple attended races at venues including Watkins Glen, Sebring and in the Poconos. For 10 years starting in 1963, they operated Laurel Mountain Ski Area.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Mrs. Patterson was an etiquette teacher, employed by the Earl Wheeler Modeling and Finishing School. She belonged to the Linden Garden Club and was active in the parent-teacher associations of St. Edmund's Academy and The Ellis School, which her children attended.

In 1983, she and a niece took over Cradle & All, a Craig Street business, and moved it to Walnut Street in Shadyside. In 1989, after the Post Office on that street had closed, she opened A&A Mailing just off Walnut on Copeland Street to fill a void.

Debbie Rosen, owner of Tennis Village, a nearby business, said Ms. Patterson continued to work there, though not full time, until about a month before her death. She said she will be missed in the neighborhood.

"She was part of the core of the Shadyside neighborhood," Ms. Rosen said. "We all would go over and mail packages, pick up things that we need and talk. She was a lovely person."

Diana Montgomery, 75, of Oakland, a family friend since the early 1970s, said, "She had a good knack for making people feel comfortable."

She loved a variety of animals including dogs, and after her children moved out of the house, she breeded birds such as finches and parakeets. At one point, she was caring for more than 100 birds, said her son Christopher Patterson of Oakland, Calif.

In addition to Christopher, she is survived by four other children, Diane Kaufmann Tobin of San Francisco, Oliver Edgar Kaufmann of Santa Monica, Calif., Elizabeth Patterson Gerhart of Campbell, Calif., Alan R. Patterson III of Edgewood; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is set for the chapel at Homewood Cemetery in Point Breeze on March 8, 2014. Those wishing additional information about the memorial can send an email to

Donations in her name can be made to the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center, 6620 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206;

Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.


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