Patricia was born on September 4, 1941 in Utica, NY. She was the firstborn of Carmen and Mary Scalzo who operated a small dairy farm. In 1946 the family moved to Sacramento, CA where she began school. Prior to her senior year of high school, the family relocated to Anaheim. After graduation, she attended Fullerton Junior College for two years while also working at Disneyland. In 1962, at 21, Patricia moved to Milwaukee, WI to complete her Dental Hygiene degree at Marquette University. At a live music event during her senior year, she met her future husband, Paul F. Durand who played trombone in the band. They married in Anaheim on November 28, 1964. In the summer of 1965, they moved to Shell Beach where Paul attended Cal Poly University. Patricia worked as a dental hygienist in Santa Maria before giving birth to their first child, Michelle. After two years, they relocated to Diamond Bar where Paul and Patrick were born 17 months apart.
In 1972, the couple moved to Rice Lake, WI, where Paul opened a CPA practice. Patricia started what would become a 20+ year career as a dental hygienist with Dr Wm Elbert, DDS in Rice Lake. Paul and Patricia built their dream home on 120 wooded acres in the Blue Hills east of Rice Lake and embraced their new country life with gardening, hunting, and skiing at Hardscrabble. Tragically, Paul died unexpectedly only two years later, leaving Patricia a single parent of Michelle, Paul and Patrick, who were 13, 10 and 8 at the time.
Patricia continued her work as a dental hygienist while raising her three children in their country home. She rekindled her love of education; first by taking business classes and later art classes. In 1984, she dated Dick Carlson with whom she enjoyed conversation, traveling and golfing at many courses throughout the Midwest. Dick passed away in 1989.
After Patricia’s children graduated high school, she enjoyed her newfound freedom by traveling the world. Her trips included numerous domestic and international destinations before she found a love that would last the rest of her life, Japan. Patricia took on the role as the first host of the newly built Rice Lake International House in its sister city Miharu, Japan. She later hosted many Japanese exchange students and made frequent trips back to Japan.
Following her return from Miharu, Patricia attended the University of Minnesota and acquired a master’s degree in public health.
Patricia married Warren Leary Jr. in 1995. The two would spend many happy years in their home on Rice Lake, traveling the world and spending time with both of their large families. Warren passed away in 2009; Patricia remained a loving member of the Leary family.
In 1996 Patricia and her two sisters, Grace and Marie, assumed the operations of an Anaheim hotel built by their father in 1962 just prior to his passing. The auspicious beginning would later give birth to Scalzo Hospitality and employ Patricia’s three children. The company continues to own and operate hotels in California and Minnesota.
Also in the mid-nineties, Patricia pursued a new passion in antiques. She created the Primrose Parlor Antique Store in husband Paul’s former CPA office building and operated it for over 25 years.
Patricia was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Barron County Rotary, Great Lakes Forestry Museum and National Lumbering Hall of Fame, and the general Rice Lake community.
In her final years she enjoyed running her shop, supervision of the hotel company, following the Brewers and the friendship of Brett Marker, a fellow antique shop owner.
Preceded in death by first husband, Paul F Durand; second husband, Warren Leary Jr.
Survived by children, Michelle (Mike) Miller, Paul (Barb) Durand, Patrick (Melissa) Durand; grandchildren, Alex (Kim), Aric, and Anna Miller. Ella and Jedidiah Durand. Emily and Abbey Durand; great-grandchildren, Madilyn, Carter and Cooper Miller; sisters Grace (Ed), Marie (Harv); stepchildren, Michael, James, Kathleen, Anne, Clare, Sheila, and John Leary and their children, including Patsy Williams and Gunnar, Nicholas, and Erin Leary.
Visitation was Friday, Nov. 5th 4:00-7:00 p.m. Appleyard’s Home for Funerals, 19 W Messenger St, Rice Lake, WI 54868
Visitation was Saturday, Nov. 6th 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 111 W Marshall St., Rice Lake, WI 54868
With the Funeral Mass Saturday, November 6th 11:00 a.m.
Burial at Cedar Lake Cemetery, 27th St./Wisconsin State Hwy 48, Mikana, WI (approx. 20 minute drive from St Joe’s)
Dinner was held in the St Joseph’s church lower level.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be designated for the Barron County Rotary.