Patricia Devereux Webber, a Dunwoody resident of 51 years, died at home on Sept. 18 surrounded by her family. She was born in Cardiff, S. Wales on Sept. 28, 1927, and grew up in Plympton, England, during the war, surviving multiple bombing blitzes. Upon graduation from Plympton Grammar School, Pat trained as a nurse and a midwife at Royal Bristol Infirmary where she subsequently worked as a registered nurse. She also served as a Sister at the famed London Clinic where she treated patients — both famous and not-so-famous — with great empathy, efficiency, and humor.
She married the love of her life, Geoffrey Webber, whom she met at school when she was 16, in 1952. Their marriage lasted 61 one years until Geoff passed in 2013. In 1967, when Geoff was recruited by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Marietta, Pat and Geoff moved from Surrey with their three children to Dunwoody. In the early 1970s, Pat taught knitting and needlework at Rich’s department store at Perimeter Mall, then brought those talents to her own knit shop, Half A Sixpence, that she opened with her partner, Shirley Smith, in Sandy Springs. For 10 years, they sold yarn and needlework supplies, while also offering free knitting, needlework and crochet lessons.
A theater lover, who had appeared in (but mostly supported backstage) pantomimes and plays in community theater in England, Pat was involved for decades in the Atlanta theater scene, including serving as a board member of the Actors and Writers Workshop, which her children Jeremy and Melanie attended, and which was founded by Walter and Betty Roberts (parents of Julia and Eric). She was also, along with Geoff, key to establishing and nurturing Onstage Atlanta almost from inception.
Her great talent for, and love of, cooking and baking supported the theater both on the stage and off as she cooked both for props and for the theater’s annual banquets. She also appeared on stage occasionally—including as the queen in ‘The Ugly Duckling’ — but preferred being behind the scenes. In 1978, Onstage Atlanta established The Webber Award, given annually to an exceptionally dedicated member of the Onstage Atlanta community. Pat and Geoff were the award’s first recipients.
For more than 50 years, Pat was active with the Daughters of the British Empire, a national organization of British expats that raises funds to support retirement homes, including baking hundreds of cakes for its popular annual fundraising Christmas tea, Highland Games and other events. After time spent living in China, Pat, along with Geoff, joined the US/China Peoples Friendship Association and hosted numerous Chinese visitors, as well as providing a home to several exchange students while they were studying in Atlanta.
Pat joined Geoff in supporting many local Atlanta organizations including the Atlanta Symphony, the High Museum, Onstage Atlanta, the Carter Center, Habitat for Humanity, the Friendship Force, WABE 90.1, GPB, Trees Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta, the Egleston Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, Great Decisions and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Pat’s many talents included gardening and she was a multiple winner of ‘Backyard of the Month.’ She also was honored with a private tour of the famed Garden of Cosmic Speculation in the U.K. with her daughter Melanie. A skilled crafter, Pat beaded, knitted, and crocheted numerous pieces which she gifted to family and friends or donated to raise money for causes dear to her heart. Pat was also a supreme Scrabble and Words with Friends player, and joyed in keeping up with friends and family on Facebook.
Pat loved to travel, visiting six continents and countless countries with Geoff - including numerous visits to China, Russia and South Korea and regular visits with family and friends in the U.K.
But most of all, Pat was known for the way she cared about others, including the most vulnerable, whether a feral cat or a child left at the border or a friend of a friend who needed a place at the table. She made her home a warm and open place where the people she loved, and anyone they brought with them were always welcome.
Pat is survived by her daughter Melanie and her sons Jeremy and Tim and their wives Cheryl and Jennifer; three grandchildren, Leesa, Paul and Thomas and wives Natalie and Dory; eight great grandchildren; beloved nieces and cousins — and many more people than can be counted to whom she was like a mother.
A memorial service for Patricia Webber will be held on Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church - 805 Mount Vernon Hwy NW, followed by tea and a celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to one of the following organizations: The Atlanta Symphony: atlantasymphony.org; PAWS Atlanta - No Kill Animal Shelter: pawsatlanta.org, or RAICES raicestexas.org.