Patricia Julian Morrow, 86, died Oct. 30, 2019, in Columbia, surrounded by family members. Her many friends knew her as Pat.

Patricia was born Sept. 23, 1933, at home in Garfield County, Colorado, to Sylvan Patton and Jean Roe Patton. It was soon discovered she had congenital cataracts that impaired her vision. In spite of this challenge, she excelled in scholarship, graduating from the University of Denver with her bachelor’s in humanities and the University of Colorado with a master’s in English literature. She completed her doctorate at MU in 1972. She earned a Fulbright scholarship and studied in Belgium. Pat always emphasized that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.

Pat taught English literature at {span}Missouri{/span}{span} University of Science & Technology — then Missouri-Rolla — in Rolla{/span} from 1969 to 1984, when she retired because of illness. Her eyesight continued to fail, yet she was able to edit dissertations and professional journal articles as well as articles for The Blind Missourian magazine. She never split an infinitive, dangled a participle or spliced a comma!

She volunteered with the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri and served as the chair for the Scholarship Committee. She found great joy in mentoring blind students who were preparing to attend college. As her vision dimmed, she learned to read in Braille.

Pat was a decadeslong member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, where she found a true sense of community. The church sustained her commitment to social justice. She was a fearless kitchen volunteer, serving coffee and gluten-free cookies. If the church needed three dozen hard-boiled eggs for the homeless shelter, she made them and delivered them by taxi. She loved to recite the lyrics of a parody song called “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian,” with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan.

In 2003, Pat married Robert W. Habenstein, a retired sociology professor. Bob came with a large art collection, a great sense of humor and three daughters, complete with sons-in-law and grandchildren: an instant family. Pat and Bob enjoyed traveling, jazz music and sharing biographical stories.

Pat is survived by her sisters, Sherri Patton of Pahoa, Hawaii, and Helen Truscott of Pueblo, Colorado, and brother, David Patton. She is also survived by her stepdaughters, Kay Habenstein Lancaster, Nancy Habenstein Swanson and Roberta Habenstein Olson, and several grandkids, nieces and nephews. She will be missed by her friends at Tiger Place, especially Warren and her kind assistant, Debbie Green.

Her ashes will be scattered in the near future in the garden at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Memorial donations may be sent in Pat’s name to the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, 1504 Furlong Drive, or to the Unitarian Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd.

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