Patricia (Sarra) Blankenburg, 79, of Newington, CT passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at Hartford Hospital February 16, 2020 after a brief illness. Patricia was born and raised in New Britain and lived most of her life in Berlin, moving to Newington with her husband in 2015. She was the daughter of the late Raymond (“Bunco”) and Ann (Zytka) Sarra. “Patty” or “Pat”, never Patricia, was a dynamic, motivated, and tenacious woman right up to the end. She refused to be idle! If you needed something done, Pat was your girl. Pat was a 1958 graduate of New Britain High School where she was a member of the Scotties Girl’s Club and was the captain of the cheerleading squad. She maintained strong friendships with her high school friends through all these years and was instrumental in organizing their high school reunions for over sixty years. Pat attended Teacher’s College (now CCSU) and had many different business-related careers starting with secretarial positions. She worked her way up the corporate ladder at companies such as Manson Laboratory in Stamford, New Britain Plastics Machine, and Veeder Root, when it was in Hartford. Her career highlight was starting her own human resources consulting business, Part-Time Personnel Services. Pat then received an offer she could not refuse and ended her career as Director of HR at Hewitt Health & Rehab in Shelton, CT. In addition to her career, Pat was past president of the Junior Women’s Club of Berlin and was a fifty-year member of the Berlin Congregational Church where she had served as a deacon. She was most proud of her advocacy for and success in removing parental visitation restrictions that had been in place for pediatric patients at New Britain General Hospital (now The Hospital of Central CT) in the 1960s.
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Pat is survived by her devoted husband of nearly fifty-nine years, Alan Blankenburg, daughters, Sharon Dellinger (Roy Dellinger) and Kim Blankenburg (Brian Newton), her sister Lynne McCord (Ed McCord), and her three grandchildren, Patrick Duffany (Claire Nakoski), Cassidy Duffany (Mike Rolleri), and Morgan Duffany. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy. Pat and Al hosted countless family vacations doing everything in their power to keep making family memories. They also enjoyed two decades of boating based out of Cedar Island Marina in Clinton, CT. Pat is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless close friends! She was predeceased by her sister Beverly Connelly and her nephew Raymond Connelly. Patty lived her life and managed her passing her way, without any regrets. The family must acknowledge the wonderful care that she received in the ER at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, NY on 2/2, where this final chapter officially began. Their care allowed Pat to visit her youngest granddaughter, Morgan, at college, including a dinner out after getting discharged from the ER! Did we say she was tenacious? This was a trip that Pat was determined to take having seen Patrick and Cassidy at their respective colleges during the past several years. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude for the extraordinary care that the entire family received from Harford Hospital starting on 2/11. Pat was cared for in multiple locations during her short stay including the ER, Center 9 ICU, North 9 Step Down, and the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center. Every person that we met exceeded our expectations and we will be eternally grateful to the doctors and the entire healthcare team.
A Celebration of Pat’s life will be held Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Berlin Congregational Church, 878 Worthington Ridge, Berlin, CT. There are no calling hours. Private entombment will be in St. Mary Mausoleum, St. Mary’s Cemetery, New Britain, CT. Service of Comfort and Compassion provided by the Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Ave., New Britain, CT. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Hartford Hospital at the following web address: giving.hartfordhospital.org or to the charity of the donor’s choice. To extend condolences to the Blankenburg family or to share a memory of Pat, please visit SHAKERFUNERALHOME.COM