Patricia Stark

Patricia Stark, affectionately known as the “First Lady of Riverhead,” passed away peacefully at her home in Riverhead surrounded by family, leaving behind a legacy of kindness, dedication and community spirit. A beloved wife to former Supervisor James Stark (who passed in 2015), mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Patricia’s life was a testament to the power of compassion and civic pride.

Patricia Stark was born in Manhattan to Mary and James O’Sullivan on March 23, 1935, and lived a life marked by dedication and adventure. She attended Sewanhaka High School and graduated from Cortland University. After her academic achievements, Patricia embarked on an enriching journey to Okinawa, Japan, where she shared her knowledge and passion by teaching English. This early experience abroad highlighted her lifelong commitment to education and cultural exchange, setting the foundation for her future endeavors in community service and revitalization. She later went on to enhance her knowledge by achieving a master’s degree from Stony Brook University. Her studies ranged from fairy tales to physics, reflecting her broad interests and brilliant mind.

Patricia devoted herself wholeheartedly to the Town of Riverhead, becoming a central figure in its revitalization and preservation. As president of the Riverhead Revitalization and Preservation Corporation, she spearheaded numerous initiatives to restore and beautify downtown Riverhead. Her efforts brought flower boxes, trees and plantings to Main Street, enhanced the beauty of Grangebel Park, and transformed the grounds of the East End Arts Council.

Her passion for the arts and community was evident in her roles as co-chair of the East End Arts Council and as a board member of the Suffolk Theatre Advisory Committee. Patricia’s dedication to Riverhead’s cultural revival was most visible in her efforts to revive the Riverhead Theater on Main Street. She was a founding member of the Riverhead Country Fair, and the funds raised from this event supported many of her beautification projects. In recognition of her extraordinary contributions, Patricia was the first woman to be honored by the Boy Scouts of America in 1997. 

Patricia is survived by her loving children Catherine, Mark, Jamie (Patty), and Joanna (Cory). She was a cherished grandmother to Keaghon (Nicole), Caelyn, Kelsey, Paige, Amanda, Rebecca, Cooper and a doting great-grandmother to Keaghon James and Silas.

Her legacy of kindness, community service and love for Riverhead will forever be remembered by those who had the privilege of knowing her. Patricia Stark’s contributions have left an indelible mark on Riverhead, ensuring that her spirit will continue to inspire future generations.

Services will be held with a viewing at Tuthill-Mangano Funeral Home in Riverhead on Sunday, June 30, from 2 to 6 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead on Monday, July 1, at 10:15 a.m. 

In lieu of flowers, the Stark family asks that donations be made in Patricia’s name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

This is a paid notice.