Patricia Bortle

Patricia Lee Dawn Bortle, 83, passed away peacefully on Dec. 15 in Villa Park. 

Born Sept. 10, 1936 to mother Martha and father Louis, she was raised in Broomall, PA. There, she met her husband to-be, Alan Bortle in fourth grade. She focused on basketball, field hockey and lacrosse at Marple Newtown High School, and went on to receive her business degree at Susquehanna University as a Kappa Delta. After graduation in 1956, she married Alan. 

Two years later, in 1958, the newlyweds moved to California, and then quickly to San Antonio, and Heilbronn, Germany where Alan was stationed with the U.S. Army. During their year and a half abroad, Patricia had their firstborn Karen. 

The pair bought their first home in Santa Ana in 1960, later moving to Garden Grove, to Orange and ultimately settling in Villa Park in 1978. They filled their homes with two more daughters, Jenn and Judi, all of their daughters’ friends over the years and five dogs, including her beloved pal Star. 

Patricia was lovingly called a “professional volunteer” for all the time she dedicated to being a community leader throughout her life. Starting as PTO President of Taft Elementary (and Bobby Socks Softball manager), she served as a volunteer at March of Dimes and St. Joseph Hospital, was a board member at Salvation Army, was on the board of directors at Community Action Partnership of Orange County, and was a docent at the Nixon Library. She also worked as the Volunteer Director and Patient Representative at Western Medical of Anaheim. In 1996, she was elected to Villa Park City Council, and later led her city as mayor pro tem and mayor until 2000. In 2004, she received the “Women Who Make a Difference in Orange County” Congressional Award.

She always had time for laughter and fun as well, traveling to 35 countries, taking 23 cruises and enjoying poolside reading in Palm Springs and sledding in Big Bear. She was a poet and writer, loved historical fiction, went shopping with her “lunch bunch,” played hours of bunco and computer solitaire, completed hundreds of crosswords and was even in two bowling leagues. 

While she was wildly accomplished, she’s best remembered for her presence -- one that filled a room with levity and open arms. She was a leading lady full of gumption, with an infectious smile and generous laugh. She was admired by many and served as everyone’s confidant, advice giver, partner and best friend. She lived bravely, taking steps others hadn’t before her, with grace and humility. She served with compassion, lived adventurously and loved endlessly.

Patricia is survived by her husband of 63 years Alan T. Bortle, her “sistie” Marti Dawn-Brandt, daughters Karen Seeley, Jennifer Hughes, Judi Holst, her nephew, her five grandchildren and the dozens of people she considered family and whose lives she touched.

Her celebration of life was held at Fairhaven Memorial’s Waverley Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please send prayers, share your favorite stories about her and consider making a donation in her name to one of the following: The Salvation Army  or Community Action Partnership of Orange County (some of her volunteer passions), The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (for those with Parkinson’s too), and She Should Run (to empower the next powerful female like herself).

January 2020