Pat Hejny died yesterday morning. Her son, Rama Schneider, posted the news in the comments thread of her blog, Pat Political. A memorial service is being planned for Saturday morning at the Church of the Good Shepard in Barre. I'll pass on more details when I know them.
I only met Pat once, at the Vermont Blogger Meetup in October, but she and I had spoken over the phone a couple times previously. I first interviewed her last February, for a story I wrote about seniors and technology, and then spoke to her again in the spring for a story about the fiesty Older Women's League, of which she was a member. We also corresponded occasionally via email about blogging.
That's not much of a history — basically, we hardly knew each other — but when I met her, Pat greeted me with such genuine affection that I felt like I'd known her for years. I think she must have hugged me at least twice. It put me immediately at ease.
Pat's enthusiasm, her persistent commitment to activism, and especially her willingnesss to embrace change made a lasting impression on me. I know others feel the same way. I'm sad that I didn't have another chance to see her, but I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity at all. The world needs more people like her in it. She will be missed.