After she was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, a brain tumor, Marilyn Patterson was given a year to live. During her illness, she astounded doctors with her strength and will to survive -- living eight years.
Mrs. Patterson is remembered by family and friends for her strength and kindness. She died Jan. 9 at age 67 of complications from pneumonia.
Mrs. Patterson was born May 11, 1946, to Arlene and George L. Cobb in Middletown, Conn. She graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and Simmons College in Boston.
She moved to Pittsburgh in the early 1970s and entered the real estate business with sister and business partner Cindy Ingram. Mrs. Patterson enjoyed a successful career, creating a "dream team" with Cindy for more than 30 years.
She met her future husband, William Morrow Patterson, soon after moving to Pittsburgh. Their daughter, Lizzie, of Shadyside said her dad tried to catch her mom's eye for months before they were finally introduced at a party through mutual friends, adding "it was love at first sight." The two married May 4, 1974.
Ms. Patterson said her mother made the family home fun and welcoming. Their home was always full of music and laughter. Mrs. Patterson would often take her daughter on surprise adventures to see an art exhibit or go skiing. In her free time, Mrs. Patterson loved to play tennis and golf.
Mrs. Patterson loved her job, her daughter said, adding that it was the ideal combination of her strengths.
"She was creative, generous and full of energy," she said. "My mom loved connecting people. This job was a perfect fit for her personality."
Her daughter said Mrs. Patterson was very clever and resourceful, working hard to ensure her clients found exactly what they wanted.
Longtime friend Lulu Orr described Mrs. Patterson as funny, kind and savvy. The two met before Mrs. Orr moved to Pittsburgh while spending summers in Cape Cod.
"When I moved, she was the only person I knew. She was my Pittsburgh family," Mrs. Orr said. "She took me under her wing and made sure I had everything I needed."
In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by stepdaughters Josephine Patterson of Cambridge, Mass., and Juli Patterson of Concord, Mass.; stepson William Morrow Patterson of Malibu, Calif.; sister Cindy Ingram; brothers Ralph Cobb and George L. Cobb Jr.; and two grandsons.
A funeral service was held Thursday. Interment was private.
Lauren Lindstrom: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1964.