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Legal Redress

Patricia Gormley

Patricia Gormley, a treasured member of the executive committee of the Seacoast N.H. Branch of the NAACP, died in Boston on February 21, 2012, at the age of 70, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Pat was a co-chair of the NAACP Legal Redress committee and was director of Affirmative Action and Equity at the University of New Hampshire. She was a tireless advocate for equal rights, justice, and diversity, and was passionate about improving the status of women in the military.

Nina Jordan worked closely with Pat as co-chair of the Legal Redress committee on cases that came to the branch. Nina remembers Pat "as a great asset to our committee, especially with her law degree.  Aside from her organizational and professional abilities, Pat had a good sense of humor.  At our trainings for law enforcement with the Department of Justice, we could count on Pat to lighten the discussion with her friendly repartee with other members of the military, including our esteemed president, Fred Ross."

Freddye Ross also worked closely with Pat.  Freddye says "Pat did so many good things that people didn't know about. She supported the Black Heritage trail fund, and she made it possible for several University of  New Hampshire students to come to our Freedom Fund dinners every year by paying for their tickets. Her word was totally reliable; she was her word. She was a perfect choice to be the UNH affirmative action officer -- I know that being in the military when she first joined, in the 1960s, was hard for a woman, and that experience prepared her well to understand the problems that women as well as minorities continued to face. I will miss her dearly."

Pat was born Oct. 26, 1941, in Yonkers, N.Y.   She was a graduate of the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the School of Law at Catholic University, and the National War College.

She served in the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate Generals Corps for 24 years, including in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, on the faculty of the Naval Justice School, and as general counsel for the Inspector General of the Navy in Washington, D.C.

After retiring from the Navy, Pat lived in Maine and New Hampshire for the last 18 years.

Upon moving to New England she took up snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  Earlier she had run the Marine Corps Marathon twice. She also embraced the region's music scene as a regular at the Boston Pops, Portland Symphony, and Portsmouth Music Hall.  She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends, in our branch and throughout the world.

Pat is survived by her daughter, Kerry S. Gormley, of  Portsmouth; son, Sean B. Gormley and his wife, Kate Donnelly Gormley, and her brother, Peter Murphy. Her husband, Captain Matthew J. Gormley III, USN, died in 2011.

By Carole S. Appel


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