The Honorable Patricia A. Whitehead passed peacefully into the Kingdon of Heaven on 12-10-09. She was surrounded by loved ones at the time of her passing. Patricia was serving as a judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court, a position which she held for over thirty five years. Patricia was born in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 1943. Her father, Colonel William James Whitehead, served in the United States Army under General Douglas MacArthur. Her mother, Eleanor Murray Whitehead was a school teacher. Patricia had one brother, Captain William J. Whitehead, who was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, class of l963. When Patricia’s father died at an early age, the young family moved to Tucson, Arizona where Patricia was raised. She often spoke of the loving and close relationship she had with her mother and her brother Bill, and the great fun they had while growing up, despite their difficult economic circumstances. Patricia attended grade school in Tucson and graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School in l961. She graduated from the U of A in l965 with a Bachelor of Arts in government and completed her Juris Doctorate at the U of A College of Law in 1968. Her brother Captain William J. Whitehead, was killed in action on April 7, 1968 while serving his country in Vietnam. He was on his second tour of duty. One year later, her fiance, also in the military was killed in action in Vietnam. Judge Whitehead began her legal career as an Assistant City Prosecutor in Tucson, AZ. In l969, she moved to Phoenix, AZ and became a Deputy Public Defender in Maricopa Co. She later became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in l971, where she handled criminal cases for three years before moving to the civil division. She was one of the first women judges to sit on the bench in AZ. Since l975, she served as a volunteer for the Terros Ambulance Service, the Maricopa Co Hospital Emerg Room, the Office of the Medical Examiner, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society. She had been a member of St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Ethics Committee and served on the Board of the Malta Center. Her honors include: U.S.Treasury Dept, Bureau of Customs Certificate of Appreciation; U.S.Dept of Justice Special Achievement Award; and awards from the CIty of Phoenix Mayor and Phoenix Women’s Commission, the Mental Health Advocates Coalition and the AZ International Refugee consortium. She has been named by the Arizona State Bar and the Maricopa County Bar Association as being one of the “100 Outstanding Women and Minorities” in AZ. Judge Whitehead was predeceased by her parents, brother and fiance. She was also predeceased by her aunt, Loretto Whitehead Treanor. Patricia is survived by her nephew, Christopher Sean Whitehead, (Theresa) and their two children, Megan, and William. She is also survived by cousins James, Michael, William, Patrick and Thomas Treanor and Margot Treanor Lovell. May we rejoice through our tears that she is reunited with her loved ones in spirit and that she received her wish of “never wanting to retire” from her position as a Phoenix Minicipal Court Judge. Information regarding a Celebration of Life service will be published in the near future. Donations in honor of Patricia may be made to any of the following organizations: St. Vincent DePaul Society, P.O. Box 13600, Phx., AZ 85002, St. Mary’s Food Bank, 2831 N. 31st Ave3. Phx., AZ. The Arizona Humane Society, 1521 W. Dobbins Rd., Phx AZ 85041
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