Obituaries 06-02-2015

Cornelia Diane Golding Patten

Lifelong social activist, active in racial integration and urban housing causes; had private audience with Dalai Lama

Cornelia Diane Golding Patten of Boston, known affectionately as “Boots,” died Saturday, May 23 at Hearthstone at New Horizons in Marlborough. She was 88 years old.

Born January 29, 1926 in Valdosta, Georgia, she was raised in Washington DC.

During World War II, she worked as a researcher at NIH and in the 1950’s she moved to Cleveland, Ohio and was a campaign worker for President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign. She also worked for the Council of World Affairs in Cleveland.

Active in social work all of her life, she was a champion of racial integration and later the challenges of urban housing. In the 1980’s she moved to Boston where she completed her B.A. at Harvard University and went on to acquire a Masters in Urban Planning at Boston University.

In her seventies, she became involved with the Tibetan Refugee community of Boston, through which she was invited to attend a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On the basis of meeting His Holiness, she was inspired to support a school for children outside of Lhasa, Tibet. At the age of 74 she made a trip to Tibet to visit the school. Her last home was on beloved Beacon Hill in Boston, and she enjoyed a long appreciation of its history and culture.

She was married to Dr. Stanley F. Patten, Jr. and was the mother of three daughters: Susan Lynn Patten, Pamela Linda Patten Haus and Lesley Ann Patten.

A funeral service was held on May 27 at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Story Chapel, 580 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to

For additional information, visit: [email protected]

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