Pat Jaeger, 87, of Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — Pat Jaeger died peacefully on May 21 after a long struggle with heart disease. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of Tom and Ingeborg Clark, she grew up on Long Island; in Bethlehem, Pa.; and in Paris, where her father, an Ohio-born lawyer, served in the early fifties on the staff of the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the European Union. As result she came to speak fluent French, reinforced by a stint at the University of Strasbourg, in addition to the German she had learned from her mother.
Once back in New York, Pat gained professional skills at the then-famous Katherine Gibbs school and worked for a number of years in positions at Altman’s Department Store, at a public relations firm and, lastly, for the Rockefeller Brothers, who sent her to help run their small new office in Brussels seeking opportunities for investment in the emerging new Europe. She lived there for many years, working for a succession of American firms.
It was on a vacation on the still-pristine Greek island of Mykonos in Greece in 1964 that Pat briefly met her husband-to-be George Jaeger, then a mid-level foreign service officer. When George returned to Europe two years later to serve in the U.S. Mission in Berlin and then at our Embassy in Bonn, they saw each other more frequently. They were married on a gloriously sunny January day at the Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland in 1970. Their daughter Christina was born in April 1971 after their return to Washington.
From then on Pat thrived in her new roles of mother and diplomatic wife through increasingly demanding State Department assignments — in Washington, Paris, Quebec, Ottawa and finally in her old stamping grounds in Brussels. Although frequent moves were demanding, particularly for Christina who, again and again in her childhood, had to leave friends and change schools and countries, Pat kept her family on an even keel, even as she gave full measure to representing this country with warm hospitality, grace and kindness.
It was George’s last assignment as Diplomat-in-Residence at Middlebury College in 1987 which brought Pat to Vermont, which she came to love and where she and George retired in 1989. They eventually built a house off Munger Street in which for over twenty years they welcomed their many new Vermont friends — until a couple of years ago it was time to move to EastView. They were rich years of love and affection, in spite of Pat’s increasing medical challenges.
Pat is survived by her husband George, as well as her daughter Christina, her son-in-law Robin and her grandchildren Magnus, Henry and Beth, who all live in London. She will be sorely missed.
Memorial contributions may be made to End of Life Services in Middlebury, where Pat served for years as a Hospice volunteer, as well as to HOPE and the poor it serves. Memorial services will be private.◊
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