Patrice Elizabeth (Hills) Walko ’65, 69, passed away unexpectedly on July 17, 2012, with her loving family at her side. 
She was born on June 10, 1943, to Frank and Marie (Reilly) Hills in Trenton, N.J. and raised in Pennsylvania, Mexico, and California.  Patrice attended St. Nicholas Grammar School in Los Altos, Calif. and Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Calif.
She was one of the first women allowed to attend Santa Clara University. Classmates selected her to be homecoming queen in 1964. She further distinguished herself by graduating among the top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. 
Patrice married Leo William Ruth III ’65 in 1965, and they raised daughters Laura, Elaina, and Jill in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, Calif. Once the girls were off to school, she first became a teacher at St. Joseph’s School in downtown San Jose then taught at Resurrection School in Sunnyvale for several more years. 
Drawn by the challenges and opportunities of Silicon Valley expansion, Patrice entered the private sector working first for Technology Development Corporation and later Olivetti Corporation. Each of these firms enhanced her skill set and developed her interest in Italian culture, language and travel. 
Patrice relocated to Leesburg, Va. during 1989. She took employment as an Administrator for two different law firms; first, Manatt Phelps & Phllips and second, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, in Washington, D.C.
While there, she met and married Richard Walko, a native of Manhattan, N.Y.; he was a Senior Program Manager with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, D.C. When Richard accepted a work opportunity in the Customs Mid-Pacific Management Center, San Francisco. during 1995, both of them relocated to a new home in Belmont. Patrice first became a Manager for Pitney Bowes Office Support Services with world-lass legal and financial clients. In the end, she returned to Stanford University where she worked with the academic advisory staff. 
Richard retired from the U.S. Customs Service during 2001. Once again Patrice and Richard were on the road again, this time to Las Vegas. At this point, Patrice volunteered for the American Red Cross, learned how to drive an Emergency Response Vehicle and earned her ham radio license. Within a two year period, Patrice responded to Hurricane Frances, Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Jeanne, and Hurricane Katrina, assisting residents displaced during these disasters. 
Patrice was an active communicant at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Las Vegas. She enjoyed quilting, the textile arts, and wild quilt trips. She belonged to the Sun City Quilting Club, where she received numerous awards for the quilts she made. She also enjoyed gardening, sunshine, and vacationing along the Russian River in Northern California. Patrice quickly became an avid lapidary enthusiast and producer of quality jewelry after her grandson introduced her to the sport of rock hounding, which is defined as amateur geology and the collecting of rocks and mineral specimens from their natural environment. 
Patrice always looked forward to good times with her family and friends. She was best known for her spirited laugh, which often set an entire house full of people into riotous laughter. At the time of her death, she was preparing to visit UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco to discuss her pending kidney transplant with the UCSF respected medical staff.
Patrice was predeceased by her mother, Marie Reilly, and father, Frank Hills. 
She is survived by her loving husband, Richard, in Las Vegas; a caring brother, Frank in Marin County; loving sisters Kathleen (Fred) in Las Vegas, and Joelle in Los Gatos, Calif; four devoted daughters, Laura and Elaina in San Jose, and Jill (Paul) in Menlo Park, Calif., Laura (Sean) in Arlington, Va.; two sons Ash in Salt Lake City, Utah and Phillip in Boulder, Colo.; six adoring grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews throughout the world.

08 Nov 2018