Dorothea “Dee” Van Rensselaer Cruger Pattee
August 16, 1926 – June 23, 2021
AAPUW mourns the passing of Dee Pattee, one of the club’s founding members, long-time club historian, an inspiring influence for the membership, and for many of us a beloved friend.
In the spring of 1988, Dee was among the small group of women who gathered at the University of Maryland campus in Munich to found a “satellite” of the Association of American University Women abroad. Ten years later, the entire membership voted to sever the connection to AAUW, adopted a new name by adding the word “Professional,” and moved on to greater involvement in the community. Dee’s contribution to the club throughout these past 33 years has been immeasurable. She was a fountain of ideas and fun. We will long remember her love of the quizzes she brought to AAUPW events like the 4th of July and the Holiday Party.
Long before she helped found AAUPW, Dee was an icon in the Munich expat community. She moved to the city in 1968 with her husband, Dick, and four children. In her quest to discover the city and adapt to the German lifestyle, she ended up writing Munich in Your Pocket, a very practical guide for newly arrived and even long-time resident expats on the ins and outs of living here. She worked as a tour guide of the city and at one time ran a “newcomers service,” in which she found housing for those new to the city.
Dee had been a journalist in the US, starting as a “copygirl” at the Washington Post soon after she graduated from George Washington University. She continued that line of work as a researcher for Time-Life Publications and an editor at Radio Free Europe. She also gave writing classes for many years, most recently on how to write personal memoirs.
When faced with challenges throughout her life, Dee demonstrated her trademark resilience and can-do attitude. Her sense of humor and her faith in the possibilities of life were inspiring.
Dee’s life was celebrated on Saturday, July 3, at the Church of the Ascension in Munich, where she was the Matriarch and an active, highly respected, and much-loved member of that community.
We will miss her sorely and would loved to have had her with us a bit longer to laugh with, to spark our curiosity, to inspire us, to remind us that there is always so much to live for.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to one of the following organizations:
AAUPW: for bank information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Church of Ascension: email@example.com
Nonviolent Peaceforce: www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org