by Ralph Sanders

Pat Shreck, the former president of the Riverside chapter of the Washington Council of the Blind in Vancouver, Wash., died early on June 1 at her home in Vancouver. She had fought breast cancer for seven years.

Most members of the ACB will remember her for her vibrant personality, her hard work as manager of the ACB Store, her performances at the NELDS folk fests, and the singing of the national anthem in Pittsburgh.

Pat also served one term as president of Library Users of America (LUA), and represented the ACB on committees of the Library of Congress.

There was so much more to this lady. My purpose here is to share some more about her life and work with you.

She was born Patricia Andrea Shreck on February 26, 1948 in New Jersey. She lost her sight as an infant from retinal cancer.

When she was still a small child, her family moved to Kansas where Pat attended the Kansas School for the Blind until after her ninth-grade year. Her father then moved to Longview, Wash. to a new job, where Pat attended public high school until her graduation. She got her bachelor of arts degree in music from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. She worked as a professional musician for many years.

She worked in public relations for Northwest Bell in Portland, personnel development for the Bureau of Land Management in Anchorage, Alaska and in the national headquarters in D.C., and her last professional position was in employee training for the Tennessee Valley Authority near Knoxville, Tenn.

Pat first became involved in the organized blind movement in the early 1970s where she served with distinction as president of the NFB of Oregon. She played a vital role in the reorganization of the Oregon Commission for the Blind.

Her first ACB convention was in Louisville, Ky. in 2000. She attended every ACB convention after that through the 2005 convention in Las Vegas.

Pat and I became close friends in 1974 and worked together on numerous projects for more than 30 years. Her loss leaves a large hole in all of our lives.

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