CARBONDALE - Patricia Anne (Duncan) O'Day, age 84, passed away on October 22, 2022 at home in Carbondale, Illinois.
Pat was born on March 17, 1938, in Oelwein, IA, and was adopted as an infant by Delmont "Monte" Duncan and Neola (Stevens) Duncan. Her parents and her adopted brother, Donald "Don" Craig Duncan, all preceded her in death.
Pat is survived by her husband of 61 years, Edward J. O'Day, of Carbondale, IL, children and grandchildren. Daughter Kathleen (O'Day) Pham, and son-in-law Hung Pham live in Miami, FL, and have two children, Ryan Pham, of Atlanta, GA, and Kyle Pham, of Worcester, MA. Son Michael O'Day, resides in Minneapolis, MN, with daughter-in-law Jai O'Day and their children, Keira and Colin O'Day. Son Stephen O'Day, lives in Hatfield, MA, along with daughter-in-law Michelle Mattison, and their children, Grace and Mattie O'Day. Daughter Anne O'Day resides in Vergennes, IL.
Pat grew up in Granite Falls, MN, spending summers swimming and winters ice skating, and always considered herself a Minnesotan, although she moved to Carbondale in 1962. In between those two places she studied in Tuebingen, Germany, where she met Ed O'Day, and later graduated from Kansas University. Pat loved her family, animals, and babies of any species, probably in that order. In Carbondale she regularly served as a Room Mother and active PTA member at the schools of all her children. As a member of the Church of Saint Francis Xavier Women's Club, she catered many events at Saint Francis and the SIU-C Newman Center. She was known for her attention to detail in place settings, decorations, and her one-of-a-kind edible topiaries. For several years, she was a board member of the Humane Society of Southern Illinois. She was also an active supporter of Friends of Carbondale Public Library, where she often tended to the Children's Books Section during their used book sales.
One important theme of her life was reading. She introduced children and grandchildren to Richard Wilbur's, Loudmouse, which remains a family favorite, and she helped inspire the entire family's love of words and language. Pat also spread that literary influence with tutoring and volunteering in the library to help all children to discover the magic of reading.
While active at home and in the community, she was also an enthusiastic traveler. Pat and Ed's itineraries extended to all seven continents, including travel throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as trips to Russia, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Antarctica and South America where Pat was able to realize her life-long dream of seeing Machu Picchu.
She also spent much of her working life at Southern Illinois University including in the Department of Agribusiness Economics and the School of Medicine.
Services will be held on Saturday, October 29, at St. Francis Xavier Church, 303 South Poplar Street, in Carbondale. Visitation will start at 9:30 AM, and the Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Masks will be required. The Funeral Mass will also be livestreamed on the funeral home website: www.meredithfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Pat's name to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, the SIU-C Newman Center, Hospice of Southern Illinois, or the Humane Society of Southern Illinois.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Pat, visit www.meredithfh.com