Patricia Shawker, R.I.P.

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Sad news. The following was written by Claire Bettag and Marie Melchiori:

With profound sadness we learned that our colleague and friend, Patricia Shawker, CG, FNGS, died Friday, 16 January 2015, after a two-and-a half-year battle with cancer. Patty’s husband, Tom, also our genealogical colleague, has asked us to reach out to the larger community with this unexpected news. The funeral will be on Saturday 24 January, noon until 2PM at Gasch’s Funeral Home, 4739 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD, 20781. An obituary will be published later this week and will be forwarded to you at that time.

Patty had many friends and colleagues in the genealogical community who would want to know. Feel free to share this information.

Claire Bettag and Marie Melchiori


Patty was a delightful person and she will be missed. Her leadership of the National Institute on Genealogical Research was outstanding.


I met Patty last year at NIGR and NGS and found her extremely helpful and a delight to be around. She went out of her way to help the class. I am saddened to hear of her death. Prayers to Tom and her family.


A great loss to the genealogical community and all those who knew Pat. Her leadership at NIGR inspired and helped many of us. She was always gracious. Condolences to Dr. Shawker, family, and friends who will miss her friendship.


Patty had a giving spirit. Even when it was obvious that she was having health issues, she was at NARA volunteering to help others. In remembering Patty of the song “This Little Light of Mine” comes to mind.


Harold McClendon Jr January 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I frequently turned to Patty for help with my research and she was always willing to be patient with me and suggest various Record Groups that might contain the records I was seeking. She was a pleasure to talk to and share the frustrations that are faced by genealogists.


Cindy Davis. Hineman January 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

There are those who come into your life and leave a mark on your heart…Patti will always be in mine! I am saddened to hear of her passing and send my condolences to her family.


I am deeply saddened to read of Patricia’s passing. She was generous, lively, and a delight to know. Condolences to her family.


So sorry to hear of Patty’s passing. When I was on staff at NGS, we worked closely together. I always enjoyed the time we shared. She will be missed.


I offer my condolences to Patricia’s loved ones and the genealogical community. I knew Patricia only in the last year or two but her rare generosity and keen investigative skills had a huge, irreplaceable impact on my work. I am terribly sorry to hear of her passing and can only imagine how much she will be missed by those who knew her better. Many thanks to those who shared her with me.


Patty will be greatly missed by family and love ones but not forgotten.


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