It is with sadness that I heard about Patti's passing. Not only was she a famous and wonderful singer but she was an ardent supporter of our organization and the issues facing grandparent/relative caregivers.
I first met Patti when Bob Strozier (writer for Grand Magazine) and I interviewed her for an article because she was raising her two granddaughters. I was star struck because this was the famous Patti Page who I used to watch perform on television when I was a child. However, during our interview, she was very gracious and sweet so I got up the nerve to invite her to participate in our upcoming International Conference of Grandparent and Kinship Caregivers which was held in May of 2007. Grandparents from around the world shared their stories during the course of the summit. Patti not only shared her story, but concluded her speech by singing her release of "Child of Mine." I don't believe there was a dry eye in that ballroom when she finished singing.
After that event Patti became our Spokesperson and ex-officio board member. She would travel from her home in California to New York, Washington D.C., etc., wherever she was needed, on behalf of our organization. Each time she appeared she was a sensation. Patti gave autographs and posed for photographs whenever she was asked (which was always) without complaint. Even when she became a widow and was raising her grandchildren alone, she still gave her time and talent to our cause.
I will be forever grateful that I had the privilege to know and work with Patti. I miss her already.
Founder of the National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights