Patti Jean Stowell Weiss


Weiss2Patti Jean Stowell was born on April 25, 1957, in Montreal, Canada, where she lived until her family returned to Mercer Island, Washington, when she was five years old. Her memories of growing up on Mercer Island included deer swimming over from Seward Park and frequenting the saltlick in her family’s backyard, hours of play in the ravine behind her south-end home, and swimming for the Mercer Island Country Club team. As a young teen, she made small pies from the blackberries she picked in her neighborhood and sold them to workmen building houses across the street. Her older brothers took her on backpacking trips when she was still small and backpacking became a lifelong passion. During her high school years she often went hiking in the Cascades with just her dog, seeking out an alpine lake to enjoy, but she was a popular member of the Mercer Island High School cheerleading squad, too.

When she graduated from high school in 1975, Patti spent a year at Washington State University, joining the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, before returning to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where she earned a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s degree in Social Work.  She spent a year living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and doing social work in the neonatal intensive care unit at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ, before returning to Seattle once more and working at Harborview Medical Center. During her 30+ years at Harborview, Patti was a highly respected clinician, supervisor and trainer. She served on numerous committees, including Ethics, Palliative Care and Pediatrics. She was knownWeiss3 for her attention to detail, her ability to see the big picture in any situation, and her strong ethical and legal expertise. She played a central role in establishing many of the policies and procedures that guide Harborview’s social work today. While she loved the intensity and challenge of her work, what she loved most was helping people.

Once she was back in the Northwest, Patti returned to backpacking and moved eventually into mountain climbing. When a fall into a crevasse on Mt. Rainier left her with a broken ankle, she decided she needed more formal climbing instruction, so she signed up for guided climbs on Rainier and enrolled in a number of snow and ice seminars. After traveling to Mexico to climb the volcanoes Popocatepetl and Pico de Orizaba, she joined the Boeing Employees Alpine Society’s (BOEALPS) basic climbing class, which furthered her desire to be in the mountains. When the class ended, she started climbing with two of her classmates, one of whom was Brian Weiss, the man she would soon marry. They took another climbing class together but before it was finished, Patti was off to Alaska to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali). Two weeks after she reached the summit on July 2, 1989, she and Brian were engaged on Mt. Rainier. They married on July 7 of the following year.

Over the next few years, the young couple had two children, Kyle McKinley and Annalise Rose, and Patti devoted herself to them. By taking them on hikes when they were still young as well as annual camping trips to the ocean, she taught them to love the outdoors as she did. Among the many activities she supported them in were Boy Scout backpacking trips to Philmont Scout Ranch and “50-milers” to Barkley Sound and Bowron Lakes. In all they did, she was extremely proud of them.

Weiss1In addition to being an avid gardener, Patti loved animals, especially dogs, and she was an important part of her family’s efforts to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She brought a loving and caring spirit to everything she did and she was known everywhere for her warm energy and embracing smile. The word people used most often to describe her was: amazing.

Patti was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in early 2012. She fought hard to beat it and held onto hope of living many years with it in remission. She died peacefully at home with family at her side on August 29, 2014.

Patti is preceded in death by her parents, Dean Payson Stowell and Lucile Eleanor (Samsel) Stowell, and her brother Jan. She is survived by her husband Brian Weiss, her children Kyle and Annalise, her brothers Scott Stowell of Spokane and Kim Stowell of Seattle, and her sister Sally Taylor of Saintfield, Northern Ireland.

Please join Patti’s family for a celebration of her life at 11:00 a.m. on October 11, 2014, at:

Mercer Island Presbyterian Church

3605 84th Ave SE

Mercer Island, WA 98040


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation in Patti’s memory to one of the following organizations:

Mercer Island Presbyterian Church Youth Ministries, 3605 84th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040


Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., PO Box 3950, San Rafael, CA 94912-3950 Or online at




28 Responses to “Patti Jean Stowell Weiss”

  • Diann and Larry says:

    Beautiful tribute! What a blessing God gave to so many lives that she touched! Her footprints are left in our hearts. Thank you Lord for being one of those blessed by her!
    Diann and Larry

  • Sally says:

    All blessings to you at this time, Brian, Kyle, Annalise.In each breath may you be held in great love and blessing…This tribute is a wonderful sharing from the heart of Patti’s life….
    Thank you. Thank you.

  • Jane Dimer says:

    Sending our love to Brian, Kyle, Annelise. From our hearts to yours.
    Fond thanks to you for sharing this tribute to Patti. Jane, Benj, Charlie

  • Judy Kimelman says:

    Lots of love to Brian, Kyle and Annalise. Such a lovely tribute to a remarkable woman. We will truly miss her Judy, Bob, Kaya and Jason McRuer-Kimelman

  • Jerry Goldberg says:

    A very sweet and friendly neighbor for more than 12 years. We will miss seeing her working in the garden. Jerry & Hunter Goldberg

  • Ron Hines says:

    Thanks for Sharing her with us Brian. I feel you for and you’re family is in my thoughts.

    Be well,


  • Suzanne Parisien says:

    Brian, Annalise and Kyle,

    What a beautiful tribute to Patti. It doesn’t seem possible that she is gone. Her vow to fight for and enjoy every last possible moment seems insurmountable to me. I remember her telling me soon after her diagnosis that she was going to treat this cancer in the same way that she climbed mountains. I will think of her every time I see Rainier and know that she is on top of some beautiful peak somewhere looking over your wonderful family. The world is a better place because she was in it.

    My best,
    Sue Parisien

  • Jane Cantrell Caron says:

    These words were perfect. What a lovely description of Patti, such a gift to this world. Sending love and hugs from the Cantrell family who spent many hours in that ravine with Patti ~

  • Shawn&Stephen Wood says:

    Brian, Kyle & Annalise,
    Remembering your amazing, wife, mother.

    She was a blessing to those she surrounded, sharing her passions (we ran into you camping in Oregon, as we were neighbors, on MI), we are here to validate your grief, as we are grieving. We remember her as a strong, determined woman, wife & mother, she is missed,
    your neighbors, Stephen, Shawn, Maddie, Ryan & Andrew Wood

  • Joy Liechty says:

    Kyle, Annalise and Brian,
    I hope there is comfort in knowing how Patti impressed everyone who knew her with the magnitude of her warmth, the sweetness of her smile, her beauty and her bravery. She is a light that never goes out.
    Joy Liechty

  • Eileen Amon Kulman says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family Brian. Patti was one of the sweetest, warm hearted people I know..her smile contagious.. She was one of the first people I met when I moved to Mercer Island and we became fast friends. We spent a lot of time hanging out together and we had lots of laughs..Although I hadn’t seen her in a while I often thought about her. I will cherish all of the memories and time we spent together..

  • Dennis and Sharon Lawrence says:

    Dear Brian, Kyle, and Annalise,
    What a Blessing Patti was to all who came in contact with her. Her wonderful smile, endless energy, and love for nature will always be a part of you. There are many wonderful memories to cherish. May God give you true Peace. Love and Big Hugs, Dennis and Sharon

  • Jon Waite says:

    I remember Patti at MIHS and we graduated both that year back in 1975. She was an inspiring and happy individual. I can’t imagine how much she’ll be missed.

    What a terrific life. I wish I’d kept in touch with Patti. But you see …I had such an awkward crush on her! Best wishes to her family and her wonderful memory.

  • Beth Rayne Engle says:

    To Patti’s family, love and prayers for you all. My brother and I were so happy when Patti and Brian moved into the house we grew up in. It was nice to know such a fine family lived there.
    Professionally I had contact with Patti, she was a joy to work with.
    It is just not right that such a light in this world is gone.

  • Gina Caston Goldstein says:

    What a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful woman. I have so many fond memories of Patti when we attended WSU and the UW. We lost touch over the years but reconnected this past year. I cherish the friendship that we had. She was very special to me. My thoughts and prayers are with you Brian, Kyle and Annalise!

  • Kendra Saathoff says:

    I was so sorry to hear the news, she was always incredibly kind, wonderful and welcoming.
    With sympathy,
    Kendra Saathoff

  • Leo and Norma Doherty says:

    Last week we climbed to the top of the path in Hallstatt where we four first met, over 20 years ago. We stood in the sunshine, filled with so many happy memories of our brave and lovely friend Patti. How fortunate we are to have had her in our lives. We send our love, mixed with tears.
    Leo and Norma

  • Les and Julie Bravender says:

    Brian and Family,

    Our hearts are filled with sadness over your loss. Patti brought joy to your life and she will be missed by everyone she has touched. Her heart was filled with care. Care in everything she did.

    Julie and I remember a morning we stayed with you all. It was a school morning and by the time the Weiss kids made it to the kitchen Patti
    had prepare a healthy smoothy (to order) and vitamins. It’s the litttle moments, the little things that are said and acted on, which stay with each of us. Remember those moments and a part of Patti will always be with each of us.

    I was blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of your wedding day. Patti was the “best” lady of that day and of your lives.

    Brian, always remember that the little moments, both past and future, I have spent with you and the ones you love are treasured.

    Gods Blessings to you and your Family,

    Les and Julie Bravender

  • Linda Martin says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the family. May your many treasured memories and the loving support of God and family help you through this most difficult time.
    2 Corinthians 1:3,4

  • Kathy Therriault says:

    Brian and family,
    I was so taken aback yesterday when I opened the paper to see Patti’s smiling face there. And then I thought – that’s as she always was -smiling! I will always remember her that way.
    Hugs to you,
    Kathy (Kate) Therriault

  • Todd Dunnington says:

    I learned of Patti’s passing with great sadness. She had such a big heart and beautiful smile. She had an uncanny ability to connect with people, nature, and pets. My heart goes out to Brian and family.

  • Laura Hummel-Keithley says:

    To Patti’s family, I send my thoughts and prayers to all of you.
    Patti and I grew up together in the same neighborhood on Mercer Island..from kindergarten to high school. Fond memories of time spent playing together..from kick the can to picking blackberries. Her beautiful smile would light up a room..she was so warm and friendly. Her memory will always live on through her loving family and friends.

  • Erika u. Dieter Krausbauer Wilhelmshausen says:

    Ein wunderbarer Mensch hat uns verlassen.Wir trauern um Patti und sind in dieser Stunde in Gedanken bei Euch in Seattle.Patti wird in unseren Herzen weiterleben.Wir sind dankbar im Monat Juni 2014 noch eine Woche in Schweden mit Patti erleben zu können.Dir lieber Brian,liebe Annalise und lieber Kyle wünschen wir viel Kraft für die kommende Zeit ohne Patti.
    Euch und Eurer Familie unsere Herzliche Anteilnahme.
    Es ist sehr schwer einen geliebten Menschen zu verlieren.Gott sei mit Euch und behüte Euch Amen!

  • Frankie Wooden says:

    I have many wonderful memories of Patti during our teenage years on MI. She was always so sweet and down to earth….so her mountaineering passion fit her to a tee. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones; she’s soaring to new mountaintops.

  • Rob MacAulay says:

    Sadly for me, I didn’t know Patti well or long. But in every interaction I had with her, I found her to be unusually genuine and real. So often it seems that people use their words and actions to create an impression or an image. Not so with Patti in my experience. She was very comfortable in her skin (understandably so!), and it showed in a most refreshing way.
    She will surely be sorely missed by many. I wish more people were like Patti Weiss.

  • Jennifer Kaden says:

    I didn’t know Patti well, and in truth, she may not have even remembered me, but I remember her well. The year was 1995 and I was a new hire as a clinical pharmacist on the medicine team at Harborview. I was young, completely intimidated, and felt like everyone knew more than me. Patti greeted me with a welcoming smile and for want of a better word, she just oozed reassurance. In time, I fell into my roll and felt privileged to watch a social worker in action. (And I mean, action!) She worked tirelessly for patients and coworkers alike and she and her partner Carol Toms made a huge impression on me. I remember Patti with a number of beepers on her belt, always busy but always having time for people.-And always with a warm smile.

  • Lisa Ellen Brodoff says:

    Dear family, friends and colleagues of the wonderful Patti,
    I teach elder law,disability and estate planning at Seattle University School of Law, and met Patti in 1999 when she was a guest speaker in my class. Every year thereafter Patti came and spoke eloquently about her patients and how we could best help them and our clients plan for medical decision making, end-of-life, and death. It was always the very best class of the semester by far. My students and I learned so much from her wisdom, compassion, and experience. Personally, I always looked forward to the class because we would spend time catching up on our lives, children, and spouses. When Patti got sick two years ago, she let me know what was happening and honestly shared her struggles and hopes. It was always clear how much she loved her family, patients and colleagues. We send our love and condolences to you from her admirers here at SU. With love and sadness, Lisa Brodoff

  • Sue Lovell says:

    Wow, Patti had a great life and will be sorely missed. I was on the same swim team with her when I was younger and even at that time, Patti was friendly to all and fun to be around.

    With Sympathy to her family

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