Today we celebrate Patricia Croman-Scott's 100th birthday.
The first of three siblings, she was born on Saint Patrick's Day in London, England in 1921 and attended Catholic primary and convent schools. At an early age she developed her prominent traits: love of God, love of family, and an eccentric sense of humor. Pat graces every soul she meets with an infectious smile and a hug with her favorite inspirational saying, "You know God loves you!". Known as “Tutu” to her grandchildren, “Mom” to her kids, and “Silly Patty Venes” to her mother, Pat relied on her Catholic faith to guide her through her tumultuous life.
During World War II, she enlisted in the Women’s Royal Navy. Her unit provided staff support for D-Day, and she remembers hearing the bombers taking off in the early hours. She later traveled to Australia on an aircraft carrier to join a WRN group providing support for the planned invasion of Japan. Just before D-Day, she met William Croman (an American Navy Intelligence Specialist), at the “Donut Dugout” near Portland, England. When Bill returned to the States, the two corresponded until he proposed by mail. They married in 1945 in Vancouver, British Columbia and settled in Vanport, Oregon where they started a family. After Bill’s graduation from University of Portland in 1951, they moved briefly to Washington, D.C., where Bill served during the Korean War. By 1953 they had relocated to Linda Mar, CA, (now Pacifica) where they settled in a new subdivision with other post-war families.
In Linda Mar, Pat was active in her local parish and relished being the “rummage queen” in charge of the church’s annual rummage sale. She co-founded the Teapots, a social club for British war brides, and also tried her hand at selling Tupperware. The ultimate multitasker, Pat took on a position as a journalist after the arrival of their fourth child. While working for the Pacific Tribune, a small local newspaper, she wrote a weekly column contributing tidbits of Linda Mar news. Her work at the Tribune evolved into a larger part-time role, with Pat becoming the newspaper’s first “woman’s editor”. She was then among the first women admitted to the San Francisco press corps.
In 1965, the Croman family, now with six children, moved to Lake Oswego, Ore. when Bill was promoted by his company. After Bill’s sudden heart attack, Pat saw the necessity to begin a career in real estate where she won a trophy as a top listing agent awarded by the nascent Portland Multiple Listing Service. Over a period of five years, she worked for Frazier Realty and Lake Oswego Properties. Shortly after receiving her broker’s designation, she opened L.C. Properties in Aurora, Oregon with partner, Mary Lockwood. In 1971 the family relocated to Butteville, Oregon when Pat and Bill spotted an 1884 Victorian riverfront home "with a lot of character". During that period, Pat also founded a social group called the “Tea Cozies” (a group of British war brides) and was an honorary member throughout her life. After Bill’s death in 1978, she devoted her time supporting her kids and helped raise grandchildren. As a volunteer, Pat spent a year working for an orphanage in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The following summer, she cooked potatoes “all day long” while working in a Baptist church camp in Alaska. During the days of no cell phones, her kids would always call each other asking, “where’s Mom?” Eventually, she’d surface. She had either attended a “Father Hampsch Seminar,” was at some social event; or, as her son Billy would famously quip, “Chasing a geezer”.
Pat loved traveling and spending winters in Yuma enjoying sunshine, social activities, and her favorite sport - tennis. She and her former friend Lavelle Kelly (Rockaway Beach) gained local acclaim finishing as regional contenders in a national tennis tournament for the "above 80 doubles bracket". Despite her traveling and socializing, Pat had a deep yearning to remarry, and spent 22 years searching for her perfect soulmate. In 1988, Pat purchased a vintage "fixer upper" just off the beach in (then) Rockaway, Oregon. She eventually relocated to Rockaway Beach after an extensive remodel to her home. During that time, her daughter Ann arranged a blind date with a friend’s dad who was a widower. In 2001, Pat and Richard Scott married in Chehalis, Washington and lived there until he sold his house in 2004. Pat and Richard decided that the best plan was to move back to Rockaway Beach into her “fixed up” beach house. Once settled, the two immersed themselves into the community. For nearly 15 happy years, they attended local events, joined the Lions Club, and were full-time parishioners at St. Mary by the Sea Catholic Church. Pat & Dick currently reside in a one-level home in Rockaway Beach where they occasionally ride along a passengers with their caregivers doing day trips around Tillamook County. Pat & Dick still attend St. Mary's Catholic Church where Pat leads the the "Amen Prayer" at the end of mass.