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In Memory of Legal Insurrection Reader Patricia McNaughton

In Memory of Legal Insurrection Reader Patricia McNaughton

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

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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Hi Patricia —
You don’t know me in this life, but I think we might be friends in the next life. Wait for me; I’l see you on the other side. Peace.

May God bless and protect her soul on its journey home.

Rest happily and in peace, my dear.

She experienced such tragedy in her life, unspeakable, yet she lived a life worth living and found a wonderful man to love.

I wished I had known her

Rest in Peace Patricia.

A great woman.

A life like hers could never be replaced. Not anymore.

There are many more people like Patricia out there that care so much about LI and the country. RIP Patricia.

God bless Patricia, now reunited with John and many in her family. May you rest in eternal peace, knowing that you have set a fine example of a good, thinking American citizen.

Gremlin1974 | May 4, 2019 at 10:55 pm

Rest in Peace, Patricia and put in a good word with the big guy for us. Goodbye and God Bless.

Sorry to hear that, best wishes to her and her family.

God bless Patricia, and her husband with whom she is now with in eternal joy.

Colonel Travis | May 5, 2019 at 12:16 am

Except for being a Midwestern woman, everything else in that little description she wrote about herself could have described me! I’m sure many other readers of this wonderful site, also.

Sad to hear of this news. It is more than a shame that there are not more like her.

I hope she left behind children that will carry her legacy into the future.

she sounds like a woman I would have loved talking to.

B Buchanan | May 5, 2019 at 1:52 am

Thank you so much for sharing her story with us Professor. She sounded like a wonderful person. May God bless her and her family.

May she be a blessing.

May she find comfort in the arms of Angels…

God’s peace, I am sure the welcome “Home” was met with the words “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

DieJustAsHappy | May 5, 2019 at 8:24 am

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Bless you, Professor Jacobson and your wife as you walked with your friend Patricia McNaughton through the green pastures of life and the valley of the shadow of death, being a source of support and comfort, kindness, and love. Indeed, blessed be the name of the LORD.

kenoshamarge | May 5, 2019 at 8:47 am

“Ordinary” she called herself and yet she was extraordinary. I was born a few miles away in Waupaca,Wisconsin and know many of the extraordinary mid-western women, and men, like her.

In time I suspect that the whole country will find the impact of “ordinary” mid-westerners like Patricia. We love God and our country and work for what we have.

She is now with all her loved ones that went before her and she is in the loving arms of the Lord. The reward of a life well lived and loved. Well done Patricia – now may you rest in peace.

    guyjones in reply to kenoshamarge. | May 5, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Beautifully-stated. I’m so sorry to hear of Patricia’s passing. She sounds like a lovely and creative woman. And, far from “ordinary,” indeed.

This story touches my heart. I often wonder if the people who run blogs such as this ever develop a relationship with their readers. So happy to find it does happen.

My deepest condolences to those who knew and loved this remarkable woman. I wish I could have met her, we share a similar history.

Cancer is such a horrible and more often than not unforgiving foe. May God bless her and remember her name in the book of life.

Godspeed dear lady.

man that sucks. condolences to the family.
side note, wonder how many of us have silently provided help hosting stuff for here?
in the past I had setup a video server site and hosted some media, sure many others have done stuff to help host images and stuff.
things like this really make you realize what a good community there is here.

So sorry to hear this. I tell myself that these are things we all have to face, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

My sincere condolences to the family, and RIP.

Seeing her wedding day photo–she was stunningly beautiful.

“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.”


G. de La Hoya | May 5, 2019 at 7:58 pm

I am glad that God allowed that your paths crossed. Truly humbled and thank you for sharing.

I’ve seen these posts a few times now. Weasel Zippers recently lost a member as well. It’s too easy to forget that behind all of this, there are humans suffering from the human condition.

I can’t always contribute when the tip jar opens, but know this- I feel blessed to have every member of this blog as part of my daily routine. In a world of perpetual outrage, I relish the sanity from my compatriots here at LI.

LukeHandCool | May 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm

RIP, Patricia. Looks like you led a good life. Now reunited with your loved ones.

So often the “ordinary” are the most extraordinary. She seems to have had a life well loved.

Thank you, Patricia, for all that you did to make this world a better place and for carrying the torch of freedom forward. God bless you and your family.

RIP Patricia. Since she is from Wisconsin, I get the “Fat Squirrel” reference. Cheers.