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June 25, 2013
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Patricia Joan Compton

Patricia Joan Compton, born March 9, 1982 in San Francisco, died

suddenly at her home in Winters, California, of heart failure on

April 6, 2013. She was 31 years old. Patty spent her early years in

Piedmont, California, then moved with her family to Chicago Park, a

community near Grass Valley and Nevada City, California. She often

spoke with her friends about how much she loved growing up in a rural

area full of orchards and fruit trees – an experience that influenced what

she later chose to be her life’s work.

Patty is survived by her mother, Linda Anthenien Compton of

Chicago Park; her father, Charles Adams Compton of Grass Valley,

and her three siblings whom she remained close to all of her life: Steve

Compton (Liza) of San Francisco, Tracy Compton O’Banion (Matt) of

Corvallis, Oregon, and Molly Compton of Grass Valley. She is survived

by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins in Orinda, Berkeley, Lake Tahoe,

and Switzerland, and by her paternal grandmother Patricia Adams

Compton of Pasadena, California. Her maternal grandparents Oscar and

Joan (Underwood) Anthenien of Orinda, and her paternal grandfather

Richard Brown Compton of Pasadena predeceased her.

Patty attended Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, then

spent six years in the engineering department at Stanford University,

earning a bachelor’s degree in product design in 2003, and a master’s

degree in mechanical engineering in 2005. During her graduate years,

she was a popular teaching assistant in the Product Realization Lab with

responsibility for the machine shop and metal foundry. She was recruited

by Apple to work at its Cupertino facility on the iPhone during the time

that the company was secretly developing this revolutionary product.

After her years in Silicon Valley, she returned to school for a master’s

degree in horticulture (pomology) at UC Davis, then worked for the US

Department of Agriculture at its UC Davis site in the field she loved

most: plant hybridization and horticulture.

Patty was a gifted artist in several media: oil, acrylic, textiles,

and metal. Her silver jewelry pieces were featured in a number of art

exhibits. She was an accomplished athlete who participated in crosscountry

running and soccer during high school, and achieved national

championship status as a member of the Stanford Cycling Team in

mountain bicycle events during graduate school. She participated in

education abroad programs in Avila and Barcelona, Spain and was fluent

in Spanish and Catalan. Patty was an avid reader and a high energy

Sierra Mountain back packer. She loved canning fruit preserves, cooking

Chilean food, and attending to numerous sewing projects. Shortly before

her death, Patty had completed a complicated puzzle quilt designed for a

soon-to-be-born niece. She was often seen driving about in her pick-up

truck with her beloved 14-year-old dog, Shelby. Those who knew Patty

admired her resilience and generous spirit, and will remember her quick

grin and elegant presence.

The family plans to hold a private memorial service during the

summer. Patty will be much missed by her family and by her many dear

and good friends.

Patricia Joan Compton


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The Union Updated Jun 25, 2013 12:34PM Published Jun 27, 2013 01:21AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.