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Hilliary Patricia “Patsy” Dunn was born in Oracabessa, Jamaica on August 28, 1930. She passed away on January 11, 2022. She was predeceased by parents, Reginald and Gladys Beckford; her first husband Calvin Edmonds, second husband, James Dunn; son Paul W. Edmonds; brother, Reginald Beckford and sister, Marjorie Myrie. She is survived by sisters Barbara Alexander, Joy Hazel, Hope Stephens, Dorothy (Paul) Logan, Yvonne Carroll-Mars, Beverley (Paul) Smith; Daughters Theresa A. Edmonds, Yvette (Balmes) Rosa; grandchildren Beau (Julianna) Rosa, Christina Rosa; great-grandchildren Alyssa and Dominic; and multiple nieces, nephews and friends.
Hilliary, affectionately known as “Patsy” to her family, took on the role of matriarch as a young woman.
As the eldest of nine children, she was given this responsibility by her father Reginald on his death bed. He wanted to make sure the rest of the family was cared for, and she not only fulfilled this promise, but left a long lasting legacy. After marrying her first husband and emigrating to the US from Jamaica, she then sponsored multiple siblings to do the same. She provided housing, resources, and unconditional love. Her home became the cornerstone of the Beckford family and she set the standard for hospitality. It was a place where everyone was welcome, be it family, friends, or even complete strangers. They received a warm and genuine welcome with deliciously prepared meals. It was a safe haven for many through joy and pain. There is not one member of the family whose life has not been positively affected by her love and generosity.
Patsy’s first role was as a loving mother, as she raised three children for whom she made many sacrifices. Every decision she made throughout her life was for the betterment of her children. Patsy created opportunities and solutions from any roadblock. She could be called the” North Star” for our family in times of need.
She exemplified what it meant to be a working woman in a time when the role of a woman was defined in the home. Patsy became the Director of Mail and Reprographics at Rochester Institute of Technology and was a trusted and respected leader in this field. Her hard work and vision helped to advance her organization with cutting edge technology. For this she received many awards and accolades and traveled throughout the US to advance and promote new strategies and technologies. She defended her independence fiercely as “boss lady”, while graciously nurturing not only her own children and grandchildren, but her extended family as well.
Patsy was a woman of great faith which gave her the strength to fulfill the different roles she inhabited. When her second husband James died in 1996 and oldest child Paul in 1997, these tragedies were life altering. It was her faith, however, that helped to sustain her during this difficult time. As a long standing, devoted member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Henrietta, New York, she had many leadership positions. Her life was not free of obstacles, but Patsy’s faith provided the comfort and support she needed to live a purposeful life. Patsy’s ministry provided immense joy and was an integral part of her life until her untimely diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease. However, her life was defined by so much more than the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Patsy’s two daughters lovingly cared for her in their homes until the very end. They honored her legacy by maintaining the values that were core to who she was as a woman. She was meticulous with her hair, makeup, nails and clothes, even as her mind and body deteriorated. They extended the life of our one and only matriarch, who is physically gone but will never be forgotten.
The impact that Hilliary “Patsy” Dunn had on so many lives will have a ripple effect on generations to come.
Family and friends are invited to an online viewing of the service from Miller Funeral Home Saturday, January 22th, 12 PM. Click Here to View the Funeral Services.
Interment will be held privately at Maplewood Cemetery in Henrietta, NY. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Please use the link below to find her tribute page.