Patty Strain of Montclair, died on Oct. 5, 2018, after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
She was an active volunteer for the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair, Montclair Kimberley Academy and any charity her friends cared about.
Mrs. Strain was relentlessly positive and polite, and coached her boys to act with humility and kindness. Her friends and family often quoted the playful banter that became her daily mantras. “All good”, “No worries”, “Play your game”, and “I’m so blessed” will be remembered as lessons in how to live a happy life.
She will always be associated with the little red boxes that she packed with her homemade English toffee. Tied with white satin ribbons, this toffee was the family’s signature Christmas gift and was widely sought after. Mrs. Strain would stay up late into the winter night to cook and pack enough boxes to gift her family’s roster of VIPs: teachers, coaches, administrators, contractors, business colleagues, clients and the many friends who needed some love. The family often had to pitch in to meet peak demand as she kept the recipe a family secret.
Mrs. Strain, a big sports fan, loved that her Cubs finally won a World Series. She often wore a school logo fleece carrying her telephoto lens camera in the stands snapping photos of her teams. She was an amazing supporter of Montclair, Bates and Gettysburg players of any sex or sport and taught her sons to respect the players of all teams whether competing versus a crosstown rival or junior varsity practice squad. She loved competitive swimming and had all of her boys in Bradford Bath and Tennis club speedos as soon as they could swim a lap. She played tennis on the club team.
Before moving to New Jersey, Mrs. Strain was selling the first laptop computers to automate sales forces for Grid Systems in Chicago, IL. She was named top salesperson in the company as 26 years old. She met her husband, Jon, in the elevator leaving work with her colleague. They were married eight months later.
She was from Chicago and never got used to telling people she lived in New Jersey, even after 25 years. The Midwest holds a special place in her heart and she loved expounding on the merits of the Chicago lakefront and its grid street system. Mrs. Strain attended Illinois State University and Regina Dominican High School. She was born Patricia Jean Brennan in Evanston, IL to Al and Mary Francis Brennan.
She is survived by her husband, Jon Strain and their three sons, Jack, Joe and Rob. Her three brothers, Al Brennan Jr., Bill Brennan and Jim Brennan, and two sisters, Anne Brennan and Mary Beth Luhrsen, and 15 nieces and nephews all of whom live in the Midwest.
A wake will be held at Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park St., Montclair from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. A funeral mass celebrating her life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday Oct. 13, at Immaculate Conception Church 30 North Fullerton Ave, Montclair.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair NJ where Patty volunteered for over 20 years.