CANTON -- Patricia Ruth Mustakangas, 71, passed away Friday, May 28, 2021, at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, NY after several years of debilitating health issues.
Patti was born March 17, 1950, in Fitchburg, MA, the daughter of Ellen (Newcombe) and George Mustakangas, both deceased. She was also preceded in death by her brother Harold Mustakangas and uncle Arthur Newcombe.
Patti was a graduate of Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg, MA, Class of 1968 and Colby College, Waterville, ME, Class of 1972.
In the mid-1970’s Pat moved with her former husband, Byron Whitney, to New York, where she remained in the Potsdam/Canton, NY area.
Pat was a case manager for the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, retiring as a Supervisor.
A person concerned with social justice, she had been active in several community service and church organizations in the Canton area.
Pat was a very gifted musician, who excelled on the French horn. Music had always been a key component of her life. In school she performed in the marching and concert bands, chorus, musicals, and the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra. She was a member of the North Winds Woodwind Quintet, Crane School of Music - Campus Community Band, St. Lawrence University Community Band, Clarkson University Orchestra and Pottsdam Community Band. She also pursued other cultural activities such as art and theater, even performing in several local theater productions a number of years ago.
Pat was a highly intelligent person, an avid reader, one who enthusiastically embraced new technologies, and was constantly seeking to learn. You could count on Pat for stimulating, thought-provoking, and spirited conversations. She enjoyed travel, and particularly held dear Cape Cod, Salem, MA in October, and Rangely, ME.
She faced her physical challenges in later years with true Yankee fortitude determined until the end to overcome them. Pat was proud of both her Finnish and Pilgrim Mayflower heritages; she had a deep love for her hometown of Fitchburg, MA and for her country.
Pat leaves her ex-husband, companion, and caregiver, Ghulam Sabir, of Canton, NY. She is also survived by her aunt Mary Newcombe, cousins, Charles Pearson Jr. (Paula), and A. Scott Newcombe (Beth), all of Fitchburg, MA and Sherrie Morey (Mike), and their families. Patti also leaves the “daughter of her heart,” Stephanie Page Krupysheva, Chelmsford, MA.
Pat’s wishes were to be cremated; the cremation service will be private. The Mathewson-Forani Funeral Home, East Syracuse, NY is in charge of arrangements.
Being the kind of person she was, Patti would be happy if you made a donation in her memory to your favorite charity or musical group.