Patricia Ruth Likins

Areas of Achievement: 
Community Building
Home Making

Honored By

Honored by: Likins, Peter
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Freestanding Bench

Pat met her life's partner in 1950, and they have developed together through a succession of schools, jobs, homes and family experiences that defy easy description. She was briefly a 3rd grade teacher, but most of her teaching has focused on her six adopted children: two Native Americans, two African Americans, one Mexican American and one Anglo.

"My wife and I have become over the past 53 years so interdependent that we are as one. She taught me by her example to love all living creatures, beginning with children of every description, and including the many animals she has rescued from oblivion.

I met Pat at my junior high school graduation dance when I was still thirteen. Childhood experiences had made us both self-reliant, but we needed each other. In our high school she was a cheerleader, thespian and soloist at her graduation.

Pat went to San Jose State in nursing until we married in 1955. She worked while I continued through a Master's; then I worked while she restarted as a Pasadena City College English major. She transferred to Stanford when I began doctoral studies there, but again had to delay her education. We adopted our first child (Anglo) at Stanford, and our second (Chicano-Anglo) when I joined the UCLA faculty. With our third adoption (mixed-race African American), Pat became the "LA County Adoptive Mother of the Year." Another such adoption followed, and Pat enrolled at nearby CalState University Northridge to finish her BA in English (1972). Two more adoptions (Native American sisters) and an elementary education graduate certificate followed; she became a teacher. Moves to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Arizona followed, always with her enthusiastic encouragement.

Life is not always easy. Our youngest son died in 2002. But Life is good when you have a strong and loving partner like Pat Likins."

--Peter Likins