Patricia M. Martinsen passed away in the early morning on Friday, July 24th at the age of 79 at the Regional Hospice Center in Danbury, CT. She had bravely battled Sjogren’s Syndrome and other neurological diseases for over three years before entering the hospice center in January.
She leaves her loving husband of 54 years, Robert H. Martinsen, her sister Sandra Gjerde Frisoli of Annandale, New Jersey and her nephew Adam Frisoli. The Martinsens have lived on Ridgebury Road in Ridgefield since 1983 and also have a home in Delray Beach, Florida.
Pat, originally from New Jersey, attended school in Caldwell, as well as Berkeley Secretarial School after graduation.
She was a secretary and office manager for a small privately owned company for a few years and then decided to become an airline hostess. Due to the previous height restrictions of 5'8”, she was the first attendant ever hired by American Airlines at 5'9” exceeding the former maximum. She was with American Airlines until 1987 traveling mostly to California and Arizona. During her employment, she served as the head of the NYC Stewardess' Union for a few years. In 1967 with the assistance of the ACLU she successfully challenged an american airlines ruling requiring all female attendants to leave the company after six months of marriage. Because of Pat's victory, even the attendants who had been previously dismissed had their former jobs re-offered to them by American Airlines.
Pat loved sunshine, animals, investing in real estate, boutiques, gardening, antiques and traveling. During their lifetime together she and her husband Bob, a retired Senior Executive of Citibank, visited over fifty countries, both on business and for pleasure.
Pat was cremated and a small ceremony was held at the Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield, CT. Her cremated remains will rest at Forest Hall Memorial Gardens in Pompano Beach Florida near the Martinsen's winter home in Delray Beach.
Donations in her memory would be welcomed at either the RVNAhealth (Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association) 27 Governor Street in Ridgefield, CT 06877 or Regional Hospice and Palliative Care at 30 Milestone Road, Danbury, CT 06810. Due to Covid-19, a Celebration of Pat's Life will be delayed to late fall and will be held at the Ridgebury Congregational Church in Ridgefield at a date and time to be announced.
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