Cover photo for Patricia  Ann Dibiase's Obituary
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1950 Patricia 2022

Patricia Ann Dibiase

March 16, 1950 — October 8, 2022

The family and loved ones of Patricia "Pat" DiBiase sadly wish to inform all who knew her that she died from cancer on October 8, 2022. Her passing follows a lifetime of devotion to them in addition to a ceaseless, selfless commitment to being a better person in a better world.

Pat entered that world on March 16,1950, as Patricia Ann Grinde, the first daughter of Marjorie (Brei) and Howard Grinde of DeForest, WI. She became the proud beneficiary of quality public schools beginning in DeForest. Receiving a B.A. from the UW-Madison in 1972, she completed her M.S. in Education (1984) with a thesis on "How Teachers Organized." She worked for decades as a teacher, reading specialist, and mentor in Madison's public elementary schools.

Drawing from all that was good about Madison in the "Turbulent Sixties," Pat remained an adamant supporter of women's rights including access to free, safe and legal abortion on demand. She despised racism, gender oppression, militarism and war. Her favorite saying was, "It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

Dismayed by the assaults on public education and social justice in recent years, Pat nevertheless maintained her activist commitments. A stalwart supporter of the rights of workers, she represented Madison Teachers, Inc. at the South Central Federation of Labor for years and served on the SCFL executive board for some time.

A lover of good food, drink and stimulating company, Pat savored gatherings with friends at restaurants and house parties. She thoroughly enjoyed summer time at the family cottage at Swan Lake near Portage. She loved kids of every shape, size and description; live jazz and R&B travel to new places, good books, and endless rounds of Scrabble or "Spite and Malice" with those up to the challenge. Pat had a fine sense of humor, a penchant for fun pranks and a hearty laugh, all inherited from her folks.

Pat leaves behind her much loved husband, life partner and comrade, Allen Ruff. She is also survived by her eternally bonded sisters, Ann Burton (Jack) of Baraboo and Kate Grinde (Bill Bode) of Bellingham, WA; her treasured nephews Michael Burton (Molly), Peter Burton (Jena), Scott Bode (Corinne) and niece Maria Konen (Cade). She is also survived by her great nephews and nieces Carter Burton, Ava Barker, Charlie Adler and Tucker Adler.

Pat relished her role as great aunt and was especially close to Carter, son of Michael Burton & Kristen Kehoe Burton. From the time he was born they shared a special relationship and enjoyed many adventures together that brought her incredible joy.

Her departure leaves a gaping wound in the hearts of cousins Chuck and Linda Brei, her numerous Grinde cousins and their families, and her close and ever-dear women friends. Among them especially, her "bestest" since the age of four, Claudia Ethun.

She will be immeasurably and inconsolably missed.

There will be a gathering at a later date to celebrate Pat's incredible life, love and laughter.

The East Madison Community Center was dear to her heart. To honor her memory, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to EMCC, 8 Straubel Ct., Madison, WI 53704 or via their website.

Informed Choice Funeral
& Cremation Alternatives
3325 E. Washington Ave. Madison
(608) 249-6758
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