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Patricia Mary Grattan Heffernan
Viewing: November 16, 2019 (Saturday) from 9;00 AM to 10:00 AM
Service: November 16, 2019 (Saturday) at 10:00 AM
Location: Epiphany Church

Patricia Mary Grattan Heffernan (Age 90)


Died in her home on October 27, 2019. She was the great-great-great-granddaughter of the well-known Irish orator, Henry Grattan.  Born on January 1, 1929, Pat was the eldest child of Patricia Grattan Esmonde, of Co. Wexford, Ireland, and Admiral John B. Heffernan, USN.  The family moved frequently, and during World War II Pat lived with her mother and siblings on a farm in Washington, Indiana, an experience she remembered fondly throughout her life. When her father was named Director of Naval History at the U.S. Naval Institute, immediately following the war, Pat and her family moved to Georgetown, in Washington D.C., where she resided for the rest of her life. Pat graduated from Georgetown Visitation High School in 1947, from its Junior College (now closed) in 1949, and from Manhattanville College in 1951. Recruited from college to work for the federal government, Pat was a devoted civil servant for over 35 years, living on assignment in Germany at the beginning of her career. Pat supported multiple artistic and cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington Opera (to which she was an annual subscriber). Beloved “Aunt Pat” to over a dozen nieces and nephews, Pat felt a keen obligation to supervise her young charges’ cultural training, from attending Washington Ballet performances, to lessons on preparing crudités, to learning to distinguish Puccini from Donizetti. She deeply interested in people and events, reading several newspapers daily. She was a master gardener and a dog lover, but Pat’s greatest passion was her service to the less fortunate.  With a quiet but unsparing determination, Pat served on the social concerns committee of Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown and volunteered at So Others May Eat (SOME), the N Street Village, the Christ Child Society, and other charities too numerous to mention.  She supported inner-city schools and was always eager to buy and donate children’s books depicting characters of color. She was an indefatigable parishioner at Epiphany Parish in Georgetown and was honored for her exceptional service to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington with its Manifesting the Kingdom award in 2017.  Pat embodied kind graciousness combined with alert engagement and openness, and her passing leaves us bereft. She was predeceased by her parents and her sisters Eithne (Tom Harnett) and Kathleen (Ray Wach). She is survived by her brother, Henry Heffernan, SJ, by 12 adoring nieces and nephews, 40 great-nieces and -nephews, and 6 great-greats. Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 10am (viewing at 9am) at Epiphany Church in Georgetown.  Arrangements by DeVol Funeral Home.  Contributions in honor of Pat can be made to the Christ Child Society.    


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DeVol Funeral Home