Patricia “Pat” Ann Mann Alto, 69, “graduated to paradise” on May 14, 2015 at the Utah Valley Medical Center in Provo, Utah surrounded by family and friends.
Pat was born on July 29, 1945 in Glendale, California to Calvin and Sara (Bjarnason) Mann. At the time of her birth, her proud father was a U.S. Marine participating in the Pacific Theater of World War II. After her parents’ divorce, her mother eventually moved to Fillmore, California where she married Louis R. Gabrielsen in 1958. Pat attended the rest of grammar school and Junior High there and proudly graduated from Fillmore High School.
Pat cherished her family and abundant friends. She often spoke how her five children were her greatest accomplishment in this life. She taught them all how to be hard-working, independent, and caring individuals. One of Pat’s lifelong companions and friends was her sister, Teresa “Terri” Schaeffer. She loved being a sister, sister-in-law and “Aunt Pat” to Terri’s family.
Pat was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), often reminiscing about her Mormon-pioneer grandmother who would take her to church when she young. It was there that she learned many of the truths that became the foundations of her life. She served in several capacities in the church, including Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Young Woman’s leader, and Stake Relief Society President.
Beyond her family and faith, Pat believed in education, both for herself and others. She attended Brigham Young University, where she graduated in 1967 with a degree in Communications. Throughout her life, she continued to educate herself through books and other activities. In 1985, she won a prestigious Rotary International Fellowship to obtain her Master’s Degree in Victorian Studies from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. She was awarded several National Endowment for Arts fellowships, where she studied subjects ranging from Middle English, Religion in America, the History of New York City, and even traveled to Japan one summer to study the education system there.
Later in life, she combined her love of family and history to become an avid genealogist and would happily share colorful exploits of her ancestors with family and friends.
Once she obtained knowledge, she had a talent and passion for sharing it with others. Before having a family, she taught at Roy High School in Ogden, Utah. After her children reached school age, she returned to teaching at Ukiah High School in California and had the enjoyable experience of having her own children and their friends in her classes.
She took immeasurable pleasure in sharing the World’s great literature with her students and watching the lasting effects it had on their lives. She began and coached the high school’s award-winning Mock Trial team. Even after retirement, she maintained contact with many of her pupils, who she counted as friends.
Pat retired from teaching due to severe health problems and in 2006 underwent a lung transplant at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. In spite of the challenging operation and its aftermath, she continued to selflessly give love and service to her family. After her mother’s death in 2008, Pat returned to Fillmore-- from her home in Ukiah, California—to care for her beloved step-father until his death four years later. To be near to her newly born granddaughter, Pat moved to American Fork, Utah in 2012.
Patricia Alto was one of the noblest of women, regularly seeking for ways to bring joy to someone or comfort those who needed comforting. Her true legacy will be in the thousands of lives she touched either through her teaching or through her own unselfish service to humanity, inside her church and in the greater community.
Pat is survived by her children, Hayward Alto of Kabul, Afghanistan, Garrett Alto of Ukiah, California. Kristian Alto of Ukiah, California and Annmarie Clark of American Fork, Utah; her son-in-law, Kevin Clark, her two grandchildren Atlee and Cashton; her sister and brother-in-law Terri and Doug Schaeffer of Cincinnati, Ohio and their children; and other countless friends and loved ones. Despite our grief, we are happy knowing that Mom now is reunited with her previously-deceased daughter Sarah Ann Marie, her parents, and her beloved pet, Pekoe.
Her funeral will be on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the American Fork 38th Ward LDS Chapel at 2433 West 450 South in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Before the funeral, there will be a brief viewing from 10:15 – 10:45 at the church. Burial in American Fork Cemetery under the direction of Anderson & Sons Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Because of her strong connection to Ukiah, California, where she lived for almost 35 years of her life, a memorial service is planned for her on a date-to-be determined.
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American Fork, UT 84003
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