She attended Notre Dame de Sion high school and was graduated from Center High School, both in Kansas City, MO. She did undergraduate work at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. In 1970, she married John Kelley. They were divorced in 1975, shortly after the birth of her son, Nathaniel Stewart Kelley.
Over the course of her career, she worked as a flight attendant, a travel agent and as adminstrative assistant to the executive director of the Foster Grand- parents program in Kansas City, KS.
When her son graduated from high school, Patty decided to pursue her own education. Because of her love for Native American culture, she moved to Vermillion to attend The University of South Dakota. She completed her bachelor's degree at USD and went on to do master's work. She was part of the first class to receive a master of arts in American Indian studies.
Though disability interrupted work on her Ph.D., she remained a student of Native American culture. As a mark of honor for her love of the people, she received a Lakota name which translated means Honors the People Woman. Despite her disability, she remained a blessing to the community, her friends and family.
Patty was preceded in death by her father, Thomas Anthony McMahon, and, just this past December, by her mother, Herdie Alpha McMahon. She is survived by her son, Nathaniel Stewart Kelley of Vermillion, and her sister, Peg McMahon of Kansas City, MO.
Services were 10 a.m. Friday, March 14, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 10 Linden Ave., Vermillion. The Oyate Singers will offer prayers at the service.
Grant her eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on her.
Iverson-Siecke-Kober Funeral Home, Vermillion, was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent online to www.koberfuneral home.com.