Patricia (Trish) Opheen Redmond

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 06:32

Longtime Eagle River resident Patricia Opheen Redmond, 55, died unexpectedly Aug. 18, 2011, at Alaska Regional Hospital.

Known as “Trish” by her friends and co-workers and “Patti” by her family, she was born in 1955 in Sunnyvale, California and raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1978. Trish earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska in 1990, and was a registered professional civil engineer.

She married Mike Redmond in 1983, moved with him to Alaska in 1984 for a 3-year assignment and forgot to leave. She progressively advanced through construction (becoming the first female Resident Engineer in the Corps of Engineers), to project management and to engineering, culminating with her assignment as the Chief of Engineering for the Alaska District Corps of Engineers from 2005 until her retirement in July 2011.

She was an ardent supporter of quality design and engineering, environmental conservation, and the UAA Engineering Program.

She loved the outdoors, every sunny day, gardening, spending time at their “cabbage” (cabin/cottage) in Resurrection Bay, hiking, back-country sledding, mountain biking, fishing, and kayaking. She supported the locavore movement and the local farmers’ markets, and initiated the “Be a Good Egg” charity to provide Mat-Su Valley eggs to the Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry.

An active member of the United Methodist Church of Chugiak, she was the project manager for their building expansion, and supported and led many church committees. Serving as church youth leader for 16 years, she was an important part of hundreds of teenagers’ lives.

Her family said: “Trish had a special knack for connecting with each youth on an individual basis, creating a lasting effect on each person’s development and faith journeys.

“Trish had a passion for cooking, reading, and supporting Democratic causes and candidates. She believed in the value of public service and the importance of community. She loved a “creative conflict” discussion, testing the status quo, and reaching consensus; she did not believe in compromise but thought that people needed to work together to reach mutual accord.

“Trish’s generosity was well known, and she always remembered to celebrate special occasions in the lives of her friends and family. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, aunt and dear friend.

“She had the gift of challenging others to be better. The gifts of her heart made us all better,” the family said.

Trish was preceded in death by her father, Ed Opheen and her golden retriever Della Olga Grandma. She is survived by her husband, Mike, and dog, Harry, of Eagle River; her mother, Adeline Opheen; sister, Kathy Cravens; brother, Tom Opheen; nieces, Julie (Mike) Anderson and Emily Opheen; nephew, Matt (Lisa) Opheen; grand-niec, Lily; and grand-nephews, Cole and Shaun, all of Minnesota.

A celebration of her life followed by a potluck reception will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 at the United Methodist Church of Chugiak, 16430 Old Glenn Highway.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Patricia Redmond Memorial Fund, Alaska Botanical Garden, PO Box 202202, Anchorage, Alaska 99520.

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