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In Memoriam: Pat Derby, June 7, 1943-February 15, 2013

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In Memoriam: Pat Derby, June 7, 1943-February 15, 2013

From Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
February 2013

paws elephant pat derby
Pat Derby with "71"
Read "71" returns to the wild

"It had to begin with elephants.
I was born in love with all elephants:
not for a reason that I know,
not because of any of their individual qualities,
- wisdom, kindness, power, grace, patience, loyalty -
but for what they are altogether, for their entire elephantness."

Patricia B. Derby
June 7, 1943- February 15, 2013

Our hearts are broken.

Pat Derby died peacefully last night in her home at ARK 2000. Ed Stewart, her partner of 37 years, was by her side.

Diagnosed with throat cancer in July of 2010, she fought her way through radiation and chemotherapy and continued to deal with side effects from treatment, including anemia. In early fall of last year came the news that cancer had returned.

Pat and Ed chose to keep this last fight a private matter. We honored their wishes.

It's impossible for any of us to imagine life without Pat Derby - PAWS without Pat Derby - but she chose, and trained, her support team well, and under the leadership of Ed Stewart, Pat's dreams and visions will be kept alive, her advocacy for animals will continue and PAWS will move forward.

We'll miss her fire, determination and fearlessness; her intelligence and her passion.

We'll miss her sense of humor.

Pat Derby was a partner, leader, mentor, teacher and friend. She was the first to champion the cause of performing animals, and today, because of her work and her fierce determination, most animal protection organizations have captive wildlife programs that address the issues of performing animals.

Pat chose a life for herself that was not for the timid.

She built ARK 2000.

Rest in peace dear friend.


A celebration of Pat's life will be planned at a later date. Ed has requested no flowers be sent. For anyone wishing to honor Pat, he would prefer donations be made to Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in her memory. Letters of condolences can be sent to P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632, or emailed to info@pawsweb.org.