Patricia Ruth McLelland, known to her family as “Pat” and to her friends as “Trish”, died unexpectedly on January 1, 2015, after a brief illness. She graduated from Sherman High School and received bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harvey Hall and Ruby Nell Hall. She is survived by her brother, Eugene Hall, by his wife Dianne, and by their children and grandchildren, and by her daughter-in-law and grandson.
Trish will be greatly missed by her colleagues at the Tahira Khan Merritt Law Firm in Dallas, and by her colleagues at BishopAccountability.org in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also mourned by Sylvia Demarest, whom she supported during the landmark Kos trial in 1997, and the other colleagues and experts involved in that and many other legal matters.
In her legal assistant work, Trish was known equally for her attention to detail and her attention to the clients represented by Demarest and Merritt. Their clients appreciated her warmth and accessibility, her passion for their cause, and the fierce determination she brought to supporting them, researching their cases, and assisting their advocates. Beyond the circles that knew her work and understood its significance, Trish’s death is a blow to millions of people who have benefited from her research and expertise, without knowing that a great social movement depended on her work.
During the past 21 years Trish was the primary researcher in an effort to document child abuse by the clergy. For the last 10 years she also coordinated that project, BishopAccountability.org. She cared for and developed this data base on evenings and weekends after her full time job as a Legal Assistant.
In her professional life she made an impact while remaining a private and humble person. She was a joy to work with, selflessly devoted to her projects and her colleagues, with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a kindness that motivated the public-spirited tasks to which she devoted her professional life. In her private life she was loved as a sister and an aunt. Hers was a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers please make any donation in Trish’s honor to:
BishopAccountability at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Donate/
or to the Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org/
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on January 8, 2015, at Laurel Land Funeral Home.