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Lilburn's 'Ambassador' Passes Away

Patti-Jo Shapiro, 59, combined her love of learning with community service.

Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.

Our unofficial “Ambassador of Lilburn,” Patti-Jo Shapiro, 59, lost her battle with cancer this morning, Aug. 3.

She was surrounded by family and close friends in the comfort of her own home.

She is survived by her mother Ann Vyce of  Florida; daughters, Alaina and Laurel Shapiro; sisters, Arlene Falkin (Gary) and Michele Slatnick, both of Florida, and many other family members and friends around the world. 

Patti-Jo was born in West Hartford, Conn., but spent the past 30-plus years living and working in Gwinnett County and was proud to call herself a Gwinnettian.

She was one of those rare individuals who combined her love of learning with rigorous standards of community service. Everyone who knew her knew that it would be hard to say “No” whenever Patti-Jo came calling for a cause.

She could always be counted on to have her camera ready at every community event and to capture the essence of life in the Greater Lilburn area. Her photographs can be found in newspapers and magazines throughout the county. Her dream was to continually inspire others to achieve their own personal greatness.  

With Patti-Jo’s passing we are reminded that life is one to be celebrated and that a place is only as good as the people you know in it. Although we will miss her and think of her every day, she will remain in our hearts forever.

Family and friends will gather to celebrate her life at 10 a.m. Saturday at Horis A. Ward Funeral Home located at 1355 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain, with Cantor Donna Faye Marcus officiating. The family will receive guests for an hour or so after the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Patti-Jo Shapiro Scholarship Fund to be administered by the Lilburn Woman’s Club. Checks can be made out and mailed to the Lilburn Woman’s Club, PO Box 54, Lilburn, GA 30048 or donations can be made online at www.lilburnwomansclub.org.   

Gerald McDowell August 03, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Patti-Jo was a great example of how community is suppose to work.
Nikki Fields- Old Town Flowers & Gifts August 03, 2011 at 06:30 PM
I was a Blessing Knowing you May God Bless yourFamily
Gail August 03, 2011 at 06:31 PM
I was so blessed to have Patti-Jo come into my life. She was energy, sunshine and inspiration all rolled into one. I will miss her beautiful smile! Gail Zarnik
Barbara Jenkins August 03, 2011 at 10:11 PM
I met Patti -Jo during a business transaction and felt instantly connected with her warm and friendly spirit. My condolences to her loving family, and to all of us in a world without Patti -Jo in it. (As I write this with tears, a hummingbird is hovering right outside my window looking in)
Mitch August 03, 2011 at 11:08 PM
What a great lady. She will be missed in our community. I am sure Patti Jo is taking lots of pictures in heaven.
Richard Ferris August 04, 2011 at 01:36 AM
It was a blessing to meet this wonderful lady. I wish we would have had more time together. She will be missed by all of us.
Thor Johnson August 04, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Patti-Jo's approach to life has taught me much. I can only hope to use it. I will truly miss her.
Lilburn Community Partnership August 04, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Patti-Jo was an inspiration to all who were blessed to know her. And in knowing her we all feel a responsibility to keep her legacy of volunteerism and positive attitude alive. Her life was truly a life well-lived. Thank you, Patti-Jo, and we will remember what you taught us.
RL August 04, 2011 at 02:48 PM
I did not know Ms. Shapiro. However, I know people who knew her. Sounds like a special person. God bless her and her family.
Helen Morriss August 04, 2011 at 09:05 PM
Patti-Jo leaves a void in this community and in many hearts, including mine, that will probably never be filled. May God bring comfort to all her family.
Matthew Loop August 05, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Patti-Jo was a unforgettable woman that could brighten-up any room in a heart-beat. Her energy, passion and enthusiasm for life were very contagious. She was one of the first people I met when I moved into the Lilburn area and instantly I felt at home. She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
Margaret Harder August 05, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Patti-Jo was a dear friend of mine and she never let me go very long without hearing from her when I moved away. She was a very loving and caring person and could brighten your day in an instant. I will miss her greatly.
Eddie & Wanda Price August 05, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I will miss my dear friend and her smile, her optimism, her energy and her friendship. She was truly a dear friend of Eddie and I. Our prayers and condolences go out to her daughters and all her family. May God Bless and comfort them at this time of loss. Wanda Price
Andy Luick August 08, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Patti-Jo was a remarkable person and a good friend to many. She used and referred HandyANDY many times over the years & was always a pleasure to do business with. She will be greatly missed......peace & prayers to her daughters and family....Andy Luick
Connie Georges August 08, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Ms. Patti-Jo will be missed. She was always busy in Lilburn with a smile.

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