It is with our deepest sorrow that we announce the loss of our beloved mother Patricia Ann Steward (Pat), age 77, who passed on Sunday December 11, 2022. Pat was born in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama City, Panama on April 20, 1945, the daughter of Paul Spencer Rupert and Ernestina Marguarite Ward. Pat was the third born of four daughters, including Rosemarie, Jennette, and Toby. Pat attended a number of schools growing up, graduating high school in Palo Alto, California.
Pat married at a young age, having two children from this marriage, Donald Fred Steward, III and Christine Marie Steward Mansperger.
Pat was a trailblazing woman in business, breaking the proverbial glass ceiling in the mortgage banking industry during the 1970s, becoming a branch manager and Vice President of two national mortgage banking companies. Pat was instrumental and a major player in the development of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including arranging funding of uniquely Arizona projects such as Rawhide. During this time in her career, she also attended and graduated from the School of Mortgage Banking, Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Pat was the owner operator of several real estate related Arizona businesses in the 1980’s, including a real estate development, property approval, property management, and project approvals company. Pat was honored as a Who’s Who in Finance, and Who’s Who in American Women numerous times throughout the 1980s. Pat made a career change in the 1990’s entering into the legal services industry with her son Don, co-owners and operators of what began as an attorney support service and developed into legal document preparation company serving over a thousand consumers a year with low- cost legal services. Pat became one of the leaders of the Arizona independent paralegal movement in the early 2000’s, helping to create the nation’s first certification program for non-lawyers who were authorized to provide legal services to the general public. Pat also gave back to her community throughout her adult life, serving on numerous local and national professional associations, as a Board Member of Maricopa County, Arizona, and National Mental Health Association, and on the Arizona Foster Care Review Board.
Pat was truly a renaissance woman, a fervent reader and lover of books and stories, a prolific writer of poetry, author of several books, an artist, and musician. For many years Pat was deeply involved in the Arizona Poetry community.
Pat was proceeded in death by her parents, husband John Tavernaro, and sister Jeanette. Pat is survived by her children Donald Fred Steward and Christi Mansperger; her sisters Rose Marie Wildsmith and Toby Stoffa; Grandchildren Kyle, Hayley, Jake, Patrick, Thomas, Allison, Jenna and Mathew; great-grandchildren Adrian, Tucker and Jude; and her beloved dog Brandy. Pat’s legacy includes her late husband’s children Jeff, Johnnie, Jack, Karla, Julius, Petra and their children.
Please join us in remembering and celebrating the wonderful life of our dear Mother and loved one Pat Steward on December 22, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Richardson Funeral home, 2621 S. Rural, Tempe, AZ 85282.