Patricia Hunter Highley, 88, of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Patricia Hunter Highley died peacefully at The Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury, Vt., in the evening of May 24, 2023. Patricia was born June 12, 1934, in Detroit, Mich., to Barbara Taber Browning and James Allan Hunter. She grew up and attended schools in East Longmeadow, Mass., and graduated from Middlebury College in 1956. Patricia was married to Seward Trainer Highley, and together they raised three daughters. They were divorced in 1978, but remained lifelong friends until his passing in 2009.

Patricia earned a master’s degree in Library Science from Long Island University, and worked as a librarian at Millbrook and Poughkeepsie High Schools in New York’s Hudson Valley. In 1990 she moved to Boulder, Colo., to study massage therapy. Patricia then returned to the East Coast to be closer to family. She started her own massage business in Bristol, bringing the practice of manual lymph drainage massage to Vermont.  During those same years, Patricia also ran the Coach House Bed and Breakfast in Bristol.

Patricia loved to travel and was always interested in improving her French, Spanish and German language skills. She also loved music and enjoyed experimenting with and learning different instruments. Patricia sang in the Middlebury and Vergennes Community Choirs, and with the Wellspring Singers. A talented artist, Patricia left behind several works that will be cherished by her family. She was very social, and enjoyed being with people, being part of a community, and volunteering in groups such as the Outlook Club, Bristol Rotary and Hospice.

Patricia is survived by her three daughters, Deborah Highley (Howard Mackie) of Rhinebeck, N.Y.; Susan Highley (Alan Tate) of Bridport, Vt.; and Carolyn Highley of Lee, Mass. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and by a caring niece and nephew. She was predeceased by her sister, Joan Hunter Kent, and by an infant grandson.

The family would like to recognize and thank the staff at The Residence at Otter Creek for all their care and support of Patricia during the years of her time there, and especially during the last few difficult months. They also wish to acknowledge and appreciate the care and dedication of the staff of Addison County Hospice.

A celebration of Patricia’s life will be held at The Residence on June 10 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Addison County Hospice or to your local library. ◊



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