"Teacher, columnist Pat Sebring dies"

"Patricia Lue Pat Sebring, a 30-year veteran of the South Kitsap School District and longtime Independent columnist, died Friday at her home after battling cancer for nearly two years. She was 82.Sebring died in the Southworth home she'd lived in for 48 years. She was such a familiar figure in the community that ferry boat captains would notice when something was amiss at her house, like the lights out when Sebring was supposed to be home, and call ahead to have someone from the dock go and check on her.Sebring was born Nov. 8, 1917, in Seattle to Charles and Mary Robare. She graduated from Highline High School and Seattle Pacific University.Sebring spent the next 30 years of her life teaching school in South Kitsap; she was among the first named to teach in the district's special education programShe touched so many people's lives during her teaching career, said Mary Sebring, her granddaughter. It's amazing how many of her former students she kept in touch with over the years. Once she made a friend, they were a friend for life.And her love affair with the South Kitsap community didn't end when her teaching career ended in 1980. For the past 16 years, Sebring wrote a weekly column in the Independent, keeping track of local births, deaths, illnesses, vacation plans and anything else that struck her fancy. It was among the most popular features in the paper.She was just amazing, said former Independent editor Pat Jenkins, who left in June after five years with the paper to take a job with the Garden Island in Kauai, Hawaii. Everyplace I'd go, everyone would ask me about Pat Sebring. For a lot of these people, her column was the first thing they turned to when the paper arrived. She had a huge following.What made her column so unique, he said, was its blend of chatty information, uplifting anecdotes and just a touch of gentle persuasion. Reading Pat's column was like sitting down and having a conversation with her, said Jenkins. It's no secret why so many people loved reading the column; it's because so many people loved Pat.Going places with her was a real experience, Mary Sebring said. Wherever we'd go, you'd have to plan on the trip taking twice as long because she always - always - ran into someone she knew. And she just had to stop and talk with them. She was such a social person.In addition to her column, Sebring also wrote short stories and was an accomplished photographer.She was a member of the order ot Amaranth and an active member of the Harper Evangelical Free Church. .Sebring is survived by her son Lee, of Port Orchard; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.From the moment she settled in this area, she just went gung ho, Maryt Sebring said. She was just always the kind of person who had to know everything that was going on. She was really something. "

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