Patricia Anne Ritchings, (Pat, Patty, Patty Anne) 59, a former member of the Bloomfield City Council and mother of three, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on December 2, 2022, after a long illness.
She was born on March 5, 1963 in Point Pleasant and attended public schools there.
She entered into a lifelong love affair with Douglas Cannon, the man who became her husband and the father of her children, a love that sustained her entire life as a devoted, hardworking and loving wife and mother. Between them they created a beautiful home and raised three beautiful children.
After graduating from Pace University, she spent her entire career in service to others, working for a time for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and doing research for the New York City Department of Corrections. During that job, as an analyst she uncovered a widespread scandal among corrections officers falsifying sick days, for which she was awarded a commendation from Mayor Ed Koch on the steps of New York City Hall.
In 1991, she was recruited for a position with the Osborne Association of New York, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting formerly incarcerated persons in their re-entry into society. At various times over the next 30 years, she managed virtually every aspect of Osborne’s existence, including technology, grants management, human resources, research, and social enterprises, while serving as a coach and resource to new staff in her spare time. In her final role as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, she was again able to use her head for business as well as numbers and data to insure Osborne’s leadership role in the criminal legal system.
“Regardless of her job title at the time,” said the association’s former CEO Elizabeth Gaynes, “Pat’s commitment to Osborne’s mission of transforming lives and the criminal justice system (and her empathy and understanding of the challenges faced by people Osborne serves) has had a lasting impact on thousands of lives.”
A lifelong Democrat, on January 1, 2003 she took the oath as a member of the Bloomfield City Council representing the 3rd Ward. She was the youngest council member (at 34) by at least ten years. In her speech she basically said, in a room full of politicians, “I’m not a politician.” Nevertheless, she was re-elected 3 years later, she decided not to run for a third term after she was diagnosed with cancer.
For fifteen years she continued to work and raise three children while undergoing treatment for a disease her doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering expected to be fatal long before she passed away. During that time, she was characteristically calm and uncomplaining and bore her burden with tremendous dignity, patience and good humor.
She was predeceased in 2018 by her father, William James Ritchings, of Manchester Township. She is survived by her mother, Norma Warren Ritchings, of Point Pleasant, her mother and father in-law, Pat and Jerry Cannon, brother-in-law Mark Cannon and sister-in-law Mary Cannon of Point Pleasant, and her brother-in-law Ken Cannon and sister-in-law, Molly Cannon of Logan, Utah.
She is survived by her husband and high school sweetheart, Douglas Cannon, and their children, Henry and Grace of Bloomfield, and Audrey, of Jersey City, who were at her bedside when she passed away.
Also surviving are her siblings, Gene Ritchings and his wife Lauren Naslund of Jersey City; David Ritchings and Peter Ritchings and his wife Mary Lynn Van Schoick, of Point Pleasant; Robyn Ritchings Gutmann and her husband David of Clayton, Mo.; Nancy Ritchings Mazur and her husband Mark of Seattle; and William James Ritchings Jr. and his wife Judy of Philadelphia and Eagles Mere, Pa. She is also survived by dozens of cousins and nieces and nephews in the Cannon and Ritchings families. Arrangements by O’Boyle Funeral Home, 309 Broad Street Bloomfield. Please express condolences at www.oboylefuneralhome.com
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Patricia’s name to:
The Osbourne Association 809 Westchester Ave, Bronx, New York 10455 www.osborneny.org