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Patrice Bolgen, 94

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —  Patrice Bolgen, 94, died peacefully in her home on November 20th, 2021. Patrice was residing in North Adams, and was predeceased by her much-loved husband of 44 years, Kaare (Kay) A Bolgen (1908 - 2005).

She was born Dorothy Patricia Manuche in Newburgh, NY on March 17th, 1927, to George J. Manuche (Beacon, NY) and Rita (Federico/Fredericks) Manuche (Italy), and was raised in New Windsor, NY.

Patrice attended Newburgh Free Academy, New Paltz State Teacher's College, and completed her Master’s Degree program at New York University. She was a dedicated, creative and loving teacher at the Great Neck Long Island Elementary School, and retired in 1981 after 34 years of teaching. To her last days, she remained in contact with many of her prior students whose lives were forever touched by her wonderful approach to teaching. After retiring, she and Kaare moved to Sandisfield, MA, then moved to North Adams in the early 1990s.

Patrice was also predeceased by her brother, George “Mike” Manuche of Manhattan NY, (1921 - 2013) and his wife, Martha Wright Manuche (1923-2016). She was a loving aunt to, and is survived by, their four children, Michael Manuche, Maria Manuche, Jayvie Manuche, and Jenny Vellante, as well as her ten grandnieces and nephews, Michael, AJ, and Nick Manuche, Michael, Jennifer, and Jacqueline Allen, Sarah and Judy Anderson, and Katharine and Colin Vellante. Patrice is also survived by Kaare’s grandnephew, Jarle Edler, and his four children, of Oslo, Norway.

Patrice was passionate about animal rights, and was a life-long vegetarian. She cared deeply about the environment and current events globally. Mostly, she kept a love and playful joy for life unsurpassed by anyone. Her sheer love of living and interest in this world was more than full color - as could be seen in her many pieces of artwork, paintings and intricate ‘doodles'. She was deeply loved by family, friends, and amazing caregivers, who were all also family to her. She changed the lives of all her knew her, reminded us to notice everything around us - there is wonder in all things large and small.

Although her family and friends are planning a private gathering in her honor, they suggest that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of the many organizations that meant so much to Patrice, like The Friends of the North Adams Library, Windsor Lake, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Hospice of Western and Central Massachusetts. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit

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I met Patrice 30 years ago when I moved to this area and participated with her in the Energize class directed by Judy
Fitzgerald. Patrice moved with ease to any rhythm and welcomed the opportunity to express herself and keep fit by dancing. When improvising, she explored her own thoughts while connecting with the rest in the group. She modeled a woman of confidence and accomplishment who knew herself. Her laugh was infectious and both in and out of class, she showed genuine interest in the joys and concerns of others. I was happy to visit her home and observe how her furniture pieces seemed to "talk with each other" in a manner which Patrice talked with her many friends. I am blessed to have known Patrice and will continue to be inspired by memories of her joie de vie. May she rest in peace.
from: Karyn E O'Tooleon: 12-18-2021

She was a wonderful woman who embraced life and always was up for a fun time. She loved to tell jokes and was an avid movie lover. She was a great lover of animals and offered a warm home to many stray cats in the cold. She was a good friend and I will miss her terribly.
from: Kathy Adamson: 12-11-2021

Patrice loved and encouraged everyone and everything to grow and become all that was possible. She herself became engaged in so many new and creative ventures, including our beloved Women's House of Peace. Many activities were in her amazing home shared with cats of all stripes. We exercised, dressed up, sang, cooked, ate, drew, laughed and co-created a unique sense of belonging to one another. A piece of her lives on inn all whose lives she touched. How blessed we are to have known Patrice Bolgen.
from: Natalie Cainon: 12-05-2021

Patrice and Karre were amongst the first residents I was honored to meet on moving to North Adams. Her connection with animals and all things living was exceptional. She cared for many neighborhood feral cats responsibly, often paying for their care herself. Her love of teaching lasted well beyond retirement. Patrice's ability to marvel at the joy and humor in everyday events was contagious. She and Karre were with me in the early days when my daughter came to the country, and they supported me on the day my son was born. Patrice, thank you for touching my life. I will miss you.
from: Paula De Laurentiison: 12-05-2021

My sincere condolences to Patrice’s family & dear friends.
In my limited contact with Patrice, I was always amazed by
her totally upbeat nature, a real joie de vive. She will be missed by so many here in her adopted home of North Adams.
from: Diane Parsonson: 12-04-2021

She was a lovely person knew her since she came to the Berkshires She will be missed but never forgotten. She was a true friend who I will miss
from: Rose Zepkaon: 12-03-2021

Affiliated with Hospice of Western and Central Mass...while it took some time to connect with her amazing energy it was worth it...her love of poetry,art music and all things Norwegian was inspirational...her home was a delightful display of her life and work...she so loved medical massage,Reiki and all spiritual explorations...a special thanks to her caregivers at the end,especially Kelly...Rest in Peace my friend
from: Robert Sykeson: 12-03-2021