It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Legal Insurrection reader Patricia McNaughton of Fremont, Wisconsin. Patricia passed away peacefully in the evening of April 29, 2019, surrounded by her sister and family.

Patricia was a great friend of the website, and became a great friend.

I’m not sure exactly when we first communicated, but it was in the early years of Legal Insurrection. She started out as an uninvited proofreader (!) alerting me to typos, and it escalated from there. We corresponded frequently about the Tea Party movement and the shenanigans in Wisconsin with regard to the union protests.

Patricia became Legal Insurrection’s unofficial photoshopper, including this image of Obama that still serves as our Twitter banner image:

And this image of Andrew Breitbart we have used frequently:

Patricia loved her home in the woods, and loved to photograph the critters who stopped by her windows and yard. So of course she did a photoshop of the Legal Insurrection squirrel:

And Hummingbird:

Patricia, nearing death, sent me what she said was her favorite photo:

Looking back over our old emails, I see that Patricia sent me several of her favorite recipes, and shared various events going on in her life. She sent me numerous electronic cards, and always had words of encouragement.

I met Patricia and her husband John Pierce in Ithaca in 2013, as they were on their way back to Wisconsin from Maine. It was one of the highlights of my experience at Legal Insurrection. Patricia kept me informed as John’s cancer worsened. John died in 2014, and I know Patricia was heartbroken. Patricia recently sent me their wedding day photo, along with his last love letter to her shortly before he died.

Patricia reached out to me numerous times in the past months as she approached death from cancer related to smoking. She confided that she didn’t regret smoking, that it helped calm her during difficult times. I didn’t know what she meant, but after her death I learned that when she was 14, Patricia lost her mother, a sister and brother in a car accident.

Patricia reached out to me in January of this year when another of her sisters died, and she was devastated.

My wife and I had a long conversation with Patricia in early March. She had stopped cancer treatments, preferring to let nature take its course. She and my wife connected, and I know they both appreciated the conversation.

In one of our last communications, I asked Patricia to send me a description of herself so the readers could know her better. Here is what she wrote:

An ordinary Midwestern woman, Patricia tried to live her hard-earned values and beliefs in her daily life. She cared deeply about her extended family, the well-being of people in general, and education—especially learning the history of everything.

Written by Founding Fathers as imperfect as are we all, Patricia most strongly believed the U.S. Bill of Rights and Constitution were the most freeing and prosperity-producing documents in the world. Foremost, she believed Freedom of speech was the key to the success of all the others.

Patricia was such a great friend and friend of the blog. In a last, and much appreciated, gesture, Patricia informed me that she had directed that her Memorial Fund be donated to Legal Insurrection Foundation.

I will miss Patricia tremendously. Rest in peace, friend.

[Featured Image: What Patricia called her and John’s ‘first selfie’ in March 2014 at Hilton Head. It also was their last photo together.]


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