March 13, 1940 – March 20, 2021
Mama T, Grandma T, Patricia, Patty, Trish and to friends Pat (McMullen) Triandiflou, 81, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her five children, on March 20, 2021, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Pat was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and attended high school at Holy Angels Academy. She graduated from Mercyhurst College in 1962 with a degree in English and a minor in art. Post-graduation, she moved to Long Island, teaching at Riverhead Junior High School and St. John the Evangelist School in Riverhead.
She moved back to Western New York, including Buffalo in 1981 and Rochester in 1987, and was a superstar salesperson for World Book Encyclopedia, where she won numerous national awards, including the Performance Increase to Goal award, or “PIG,” which her kids often teased her about and used as a prop at graduations and celebrations.
In retirement, she spent several years at Barnes & Noble, trailblazing sales in loyalty cards and outspending her paycheck on books for her grandchildren.
Pat’s true passions were her children and grandchildren. She had a Ph.D. in Motherhood. She was a warrior for her five kids, Jim, Lynn (Bart), Jody (Jim), Amy (Jesse) and Daniel. Her most celebrated occasion was when each graduated from college. Mama T made the most average moments extraordinary; from the way she wrapped birthday presents to the desserts she made nightly, every moment was a milestone.
If she loved anything more than her own kids, it was her 13 grandchildren: Kaitlynn, Will, Annagrace, Andrew, Juliet, Abigail, Maggie, J.D., Teddy, Jake, Alice, Lucy and Henry. Grandma T was a “sit on the floor and play” type of grandma. She would search to the world’s end for the latest Thomas the Tank Engine accessory, Lego set or cupcake pajamas if it meant putting a smile on her grandchild’s face. For out-of-town kiddos, packages came regularly with designer duct tape and plenty of stickers on the card. You regularly found her staging stuffed-animal scenes to welcome kids home from school or endless stroller walks to get fresh air.
Pat was prone to shenanigans. She pretended to play by the rules, but she was the first to climb the fence, dance on the table, take candid pictures with the waiter or pull a prank. She liked trouble if it made for a good story or a bout of laughter.
She loved the arts and was a member of the Strong National Museum of Play and a season ticket holder of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center theater, and she saw Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel multiple times in her 60s and 70s.
Pat had an unnatural love of laundry. She thought dryers were for chumps and made the most of her clothesline, even in 10-degree weather. She ironed for hours on end and joked that her favorite perfume was Niagara spray starch.
She was a sports fanatic and saw LeBron James as part of the family. Whether it was basketball (she loved to recall making 23 out of 25 foul shots in high school), tennis, football, soccer or baseball, she enjoyed cheering on her favorite teams.
If you knew Pat, you knew she was passionate about supporting what she loved but never held back in telling you what she disliked, including makeup, chewing gum, Steph Curry and anyone who did not shop at Wegmans.
Her idea of heaven was a Diet Coke and a Gertrude Hawk cashew cluster.
She will be remembered and missed by her siblings William McMullen, Kathleen Saxe and Sharon McMullen, in addition to her many nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.
She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Alice and Arthur McMullen, her brother James McMullen and sister Joanne Henry.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Pat’s name to Journey Home Hospice in Greece, N.Y. (journeyhomegreece.org) or Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. (mercyhurst.edu/alumni/giving).
A party will be held in celebration of Pat’s life in July 2021.
This is a paid notice.