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Dr. Patricia V. Symonds

March 21, 1932 November 6, 2018
Dr. Patricia V.  Symonds
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Obituary for Dr. Patricia V. Symonds
Dr. Patricia Veronica Symonds, 86, of Providence, RI, Cuttyhunk, MA and Useppa Island, FL died peacefully on November 6th at St. Elizabeth’s Manor in Bristol, RI with her husband Alan at her side. She had been in declining health for several months during which she was lovingly attended by her husband, children and friends.
Patricia was the first of three children born in Liverpool, England to Walter and Anita (Stenberg) Heard to on March 21, 1932. After high school she married before emigrating to the United States in 1952 with the first of three daughters. Her first marriage ended in divorce.
In June 1967, Patricia married Alan E. Symonds, Sr., who had three children, from his previous marriage. Together, Patricia and Alan had a son, who completed their blended family.
Patricia is survived by her husband Alan; her children Karen Melikian, Amy Symonds, Stephen Symonds, Deborah Melikian Jones and her husband Bryan, Jane Symonds, and Alan Symonds, Jr.; her grandchildren Marco Steinsieck and his wife Lindsay, Amelia and Lila Jones, and Hannah Rish; great granddaughters Samantha and Lily Steinsieck; and her brother Walter Heard, Jr. Patricia is preceded in death by her parents; her eldest daughter Susan Melikian Steinsieck; and her sister Mary (Heard) Hanson.
Patricia was a passionate academic and educator. While her youngest children were still at home, she enrolled at Brown University where she earned Bachelor (Magna Cum Laude), Master, and Doctoral degrees in Anthropology. She also played varsity tennis as an undergrad.
With the support and encouragement of her husband, Patricia did extensive research in the late 1980s in a Hmong village in northern Thailand. Her ethnographic study “Calling in the Soul: Gender and the Cycle of Life in a Hmong Village” was later published as a book by the University of Washington.
Patricia joined the Anthropology Department at Brown as an Adjunct Associate Professor. During her tenure she taught courses in her areas of expertise and mentored many students who remained close friends and colleagues.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 10th at 11am in the Redwood Chapel, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, with burial to follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Partners In Health, P.O. Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284-5578,
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