Retired teacher, longtime West Haven Community House backer Patricia Herbert honored on her 100th birthday
City resident Patricia “Pat” Herbert celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the West Haven Community House, joined by Community House Board of Directors President William Heffernan and Mayor Nancy Rossi, among others.
The reception was attended by dozens of colleagues, family and friends — and even a former pupil — Tuesday afternoon at the Community House, 227 Elm St.
At the two-hour reception, Herbert, a retired teacher, lifetime board member and former board president of the Community House, was praised as a pioneer in the field of social services.
“To me, her commitment to the Community House and its work is unmatched for anybody over that length of time,” said Heffernan. “Particularly moving to me is that Pat never loses sight of the real purpose of the Community House, which is helping people.”
A strong and enthusiastic financial supporter of the not-for-profit organization, she was instrumental in developing its Head Start program, establishing its before- and after-school child care program, and creating its endowment fund, said Patricia W. Stevens, executive director of the Community House.
Three days earlier, Herbert received a mayoral citation from her friend Roberta Defonce on behalf of Rossi during a gathering of friends and loved ones at Biagetti’s Restaurant, 77 Campbell Ave.
Rossi praised Herbert, whose actual birthday was Monday, in the citation, saying: “I hope you reflect with pride on the memories you have made and the lives you have touched. Your accomplishments represent an important chapter in the story of West Haven and epitomize everything great about our city.”
In the Community House’s 2011 annual report, Herbert was affectionately called “a living time capsule of West Haven history.”
Herbert, a former professor of education at Southern Connecticut State University, taught at Noble Elementary School and served on the Board of Education.
She also served as chairwoman of the Conservation and Open Space Land Commission and was president of the West Haven Garden Club.
A strong advocate for open space, Herbert also is a founding member of the Land Trust of West Haven.