Patricia A. Buchanan: Born Patricia Ann Luray in Ross, California on June 2, 1950 to Howard and Barbara Luray (maiden name Spurgeon). “Pat” was the 3rd of four children. Pat is survived by her younger brother Chris, her two children Donnie and Akemi and their children Naomi, Amaya, and Emi Mae.
Pat’s childhood took place mainly in the Topanga, Monte Nieto, Malibu area of California where she enjoyed her natural surroundings including long days at the beach. In fact, it was the beginning of a lifelong love of the great outdoors. Her family even lived on a boat named the Groote Beer for a time! She has credited the love and kindness of her neighbors May and Jack Conner for much of her success in life.
In high school she would meet Ted Sakaida. They would married in 1968 and have two children together: Donnie and Akemi. Although their marriage was not meant to last, they would always enjoy a family bond through their children.
Pat would eventually move to Santa Paula, California where she would make many lifelong friends waitressing at the Whale’s Tail restaurant in Ventura. She moved to Seattle in 1978 to be near her brother, father, and mother all who also had relocated to the Pacific Northwest. It proved to be her lifelong home. She continued waitressing at several restaurants, including Andy’s Diner. Through her hard work she managed to purchase her first house in Ballard. It was while working at Andy’s that she met Angus Buchanan whom she eventually married. One of Pat’s great joys was organizing family trips with her kids along their siblings Kevin and Yumi and Angus’ three children: Wendy, Colin, and Jennifer and all their extended family members.
Pat and Angus eventually moved to Bainbridge and then Whidbey Island where they spent many happy years together. They enjoyed travelling, spending time outside, and most importantly, each other’s company. They always respected each other’s independent nature but made an incredible team when paired together. This was a productive time for Pat individually was well; she began her work with FETCH, an animal advocacy group and spearheaded new legislation in Island County to allow off leash dog parks. This was a great source of pride for her as she oversaw the opening of multiple off leash parks in her community.
She also took up triathlon, a sport she came to love later in life. Where most athletes compete from a young age, Pat began her career at age 50! A lifetime smoker to that point and unable to run one lap around the local track, she would be a world class age-group triathlete competing in multiple national championship races as well as qualifying for the World Championships in her age group.
In 2005 Pat was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through genetic testing she was later found to possess the BRCA 2 gene which leads to a predisposition for cancer. Although this discovery wouldn’t affect her diagnosis, it did allow her children to take early measures to help detect and try to prevent their own cancer diagnosis. Even as she endured chemotherapy treatments and multiple surgical mesh surgeries, she continued her triathlon training and racking up winning efforts. The self-proclaimed “Little Locomotive” never gave up!
The physical struggles in her life though were compounded when Angus passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Angus’ passing left a hole in all our lives. At this time, Pat left their long time Whidbey Island home and moved to West Seattle to be closer to Akemi and her grandchildren, Naomi and soon to be Emi Mae.
After more than a decade in remission, her cancer eventually reemerged in her bones. Characteristically, Pat fought back. Despite a Stage 4 diagnosis and a referral to hospice she would go on to enjoy nearly 5 more years! During that time she travelled to some of her favorite places and spent meaningful time with family and friends.
Pat will be remembered for her fighting spirit, her compassion, her restless nature, her love of good food, animals, the world around her, and the indelible mark she has left on all those we knew her.