Patsy Guadnola passed away peacefully during the night at Valley View Hospital, March 4, 2016. Patsy was a fixture in the Glenwood Springs community — a “titan,” as described by her attending physician — and her local legacy of music, faith and love will live on in the generations of lives she touched. She was 92.
Patricia Jane Guadnola was born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1923, in the Guadnola family home on Colorado Avenue. She was the youngest of ten children to John Giovanni Guadnola (1867-1948) and Assunta Guadnola (1878-1962). Her parents were Italian immigrants during the turn of the century who pioneered to Western Colorado, settled in Glenwood Springs, and contributed to its early infrastructural development and growth. Patsy’s love of family, children and music grew from this rich history, and are the core values which she has rooted so deeply in our community.
Patsy possessed a passion for music from a very young age — one which would shape her career as a dedicated educator and talented musician. At the age of 12, she began playing music for the Mass at St. Stephen’s (a tradition she would continue for 72 years). Patsy went on to study music and received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Colorado State College of Education (University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, CO, in 1945. She continued her studies at Julliard School of Music in New York City, and received her Masters of Arts from Colorado State College of Education in 1953. Patsy taught music in the Glenwood Springs Public Schools (K-12) from 1945-1985, served as director of the Glenwood Springs High School Choirs, and taught at St. Stephen’s Catholic School from 1985-1996 in music K-8. In 1990, she was honored at the Aspen Music Festival, indicating participation at the first Aspen Music Festival in 1950. The Colorado American Choral Directors’ Association honored her with its Conductor of the Year Award for outstanding contribution to the area of choral music in 1988. And the Glenwood Springs Public Schools recognized her dedicated service to the community by naming the remodeled wing of the Glenwood Springs Elementary School in her honor. In 1998, Patsy was inducted as a Hall of Fame member of the Colorado Music Educators Association, in recognition of exemplary contributions to the advancement of excellence in music education, distinguished service to the people of Colorado and their educational institutions, and dedication to the highest professional standards. In 2008, she received the Archdiocesan Music Award from Archbishop Chaput.
With a career spanning 51 years, Miss Guadnola had the singular joy of teaching the children (and grandchildren!) of former students. Patsy was a dedicated educator, who cultivated a classroom filled with joy, respect, laughter and unconditional love for generations of Glenwood Springs’ children. Patsy remained active up until the end, and was always happy to inquire about the well-being of loved ones, and share a hug and a kiss, during her errands around town.
Patsy is predeceased by siblings Tony Guadnola (b. 1899), Rose Buchen (b.1900), Mary Guadnola (b.1902), Adeline Gerardi (b.1904), Sister Charles Marie Guadnola (b. 1906), Joseph Guadnola (b. 1908), Charles Guadnola (b. 1911), James Guadnola (b. 1913), and Esther Olesky (b. 1915). Our beloved Aunt Patsy is survived by dozens of nieces and nephews, four generations of Guadnolas, and hundreds of loving students and friends.
A Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church on Friday, March 11, at 11:00 am. Burial will follow the Mass in Rosebud Cemetery. There will be a Rosary on Thursday, March 10, at 7:00 pm also at St. Stephen’s Church. In lieu of flowers, Patsy requested memorial donations be made to St. Stephen’s.
Patsy Guadnola’s legacy of love will be cherished by all who knew her, and her generosity of spirit will live on in the deep history of Glenwood Springs.
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