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Sailboat Racer, Stamford Hospital, Ferguson Library Volunteer Patti Rockhill Dies At 83

A longtime member of the Stamford Yacht Club, Patti Rockhill had a passion for sailing.
A longtime member of the Stamford Yacht Club, Patti Rockhill had a passion for sailing. Photo Credit: Contributed

Patricia (Patti) Rockhill died on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 at her beloved harbor-side home in Stamford, surrounded by her books, her dearly loved springer spaniel Georgia and her family. She was 83.

The youngest of three children, Patti was born in Rochester, to George and Estell VanEpps and is survived by her brothers George (Grace) and Donald; both residing in Rochester.

After graduating high school, Patti moved to New York City and worked at several world-class enterprises as a paralegal, including the L.A. Times and her beloved PepsiCo in Purchase. She attended The College of New Rochelle and remained a lifelong learner; she was sharp as a tac until her passing–frequently completing the NY Times crossword puzzle on Sunday mornings.

She is survived by her two children from her first marriage to John Dignam; Justin Dignam (Christine) of Anaheim Hills, CA,  and Peter Dignam (Lauren) of Flower Mound, TX, as well as her five grandchildren: Taylor, Chandler, Jack, Cole and Samuel. Patti loved her grandchildren with all her heart, and she was especially proud of their many achievements and accomplishments through the years.

It was in 1992 that Patti married the love of her life, Jerome (Jerry) Rockhill. Jerry was a wonderful husband to Patti, a loving father and grandfather, a true-gentleman to the world and a gifted Hotchkiss School and M.I.T-educated engineer.

Prior to his passing in January 2013, they shared many loving years and a passion for sailing and travel together. Long-time members of the Stamford Yacht Club,  they expressed their love of sailing through competitive sailboat racing, training and teaching others the art and science of sailing.

Patti was a passionate member of the Shippan Point Garden Club, a volunteer at the Ferguson Library in Stanford, and a volunteer at Stamford Hospital; where she was recognized for donating over 1,500 of service hours.

Her grasp of the English language and her exceptional grammatical eloquence will be remembered by all, and Patti’s energy and sass will be missed by all those who knew her and loved her.

The family is reviewing options on an appropriate memorial service that would be consistent with Patti’s wishes. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Patti’s name to The New England English Springer Spaniel Rescue or the SPCA of Connecticut (a no-kill shelter).   

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