In Memoriam – Patricia A. McGill

NORTHAMPTON, MA — On April 24, 2024 our beloved, Patty McGill, passed away in her sleep, in her apartment in Northampton. “Hamp” or “Noho,” it did not matter to her. She grew up going to her grandparents’ house near the Tri-County Fairgrounds and she knew everyone in Northampton. She saw people first and welcomed newcomers, the “Noho” crowd. She embraced Old Hamp and New Noho. One of her core beliefs was: selfdetermination for all people. Patty was born on December 11, 1957, and attended schools in Westhampton. She graduated from Hampshire Regional High School in 1975. She then got her Bachelor’s degree at Keene State College. While at Keene State College she found her place in a circle of friends in the lesbian community. Patty remained friends with those college friends her whole life. She also got her Master’s degree at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. She had an amazing mind and could solve any problem. While at Goddard College she was the manager of the radio station. She hosted programs and went up a hillside to jiggle the antenna whenever the station signal was weak. She worked at UMASS Amherst at the Center for Diversity from 1995 to 2022. She hired, trained and supervised Resident Assistants and other students. She became lifelong friends with many students from all over the world. At heart, Patty was a musician. Was this because she was often mistaken for Joan Baez? Patty loved writing music, listening to music and performing music. Some of us were lucky enough to get a cassette tape from her with several of her songs on it. She was a member of the legendry local band “50 Foot Love Goddess” in the early 1990’s. They performed locally, often times on the roof at their apartment at the Maplewood Shops. While living in Northampton she volunteered at Valley Free Radio. She also performed solo at open mic night at local clubs. Her songs were intimate and passionate, and her songs connected with audiences. Patty lived in Massachusetts for most of her life but did live in San Francisco for a couple years. She worked as a bike messenger and wrote some great songs about that experience. Her time in SF was limited due to her chronic environmental allergies that made it impossible to find housing. Patty also suffered in this life. Her mental health and environmental allergies caused housing and relationship challenges. She tried everything to get treatment for debilitating illnesses that could not be controlled. She sought treatment from orthodox and unorthodox providers. None of it helped. She fought back against mental health challenges and faced them bravely.

Patty was pre-deceased by her parents, Jim McGill and Bette McGill. She is survived by her brother, Jack McGill (Donna) of Williamsburg, MA and her sister, Erin Mc-Gill of Northampton, MA. As well as several cousins, nieces and nephews. Patty will also be missed by a huge network of friends who loved her so much. She gathered so many friends along her very creative, colorful, magical life. THE FAMILY WILL RECEIVE FRIENDS FOR CALLING HOURS ON SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2024 FROM 2:00 PM ~ 4:00 PM AT AHEARN FUNERAL HOME, 783 BRIDGE RD., NORTHAMPTON, MA. The family asks that donations in Patty’s memory may be made to: The Northampton Survival Center, 265 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA.

Ahearn Funeral Home