Victoria Anne Braithwaite-Read

Victoria passed away peacefully at home on Monday 30th September, after a determined fight with pancreatic cancer. Her goal was to be the poster-girl for its successful treatment. To friends and family, the dignified and graceful focus she applied to the ‘project’ typified her approach to everything she set her mind to in her remarkable life.

Victoria’s outstanding career is best described here https://news.psu.edu/story/590550/2019/09/30/research/penn-state-community-grieves-loss-biologist-victoria-braithwaite. 

Without exception, people speak of Victoria’s enthusiasm for the world around us, her curiosity for discovery and her compassion for others. No matter how brief people’s encounters with her, they wanted to know her.

For those closest to her, they forgave her obsessive eye for detail and bat-ears for the sheer satisfaction of sharing conversation, wine, food, music, books and experiences with her. She was a sought-after mentor, respected colleague, best friend, treasured sister and sister-in-law, favourite aunt and, in her dying days, favourite patient.

By far her greatest joy and achievement in life was her boys, James and Matthew. There was nothing that meant more to her than seeing them grow into the fine young men they are. She wanted the very best for them both, in every way and she always put them first. In the early stages of her career it deeply troubled her that her work often took her away from them; but equally, she knew her work offered them opportunities and experiences not every mother could provide. Her strength of character and her deeply held values run deep in James and Matthew.  She counted that a job well done.

Victoria had a strong sense of family and was surprised but delighted to become a grandmother two years ago. Joey, Isla and Matthew’s wife Hannah were welcomed into her world with all her heart.

Victoria’s illness brought together a collection of people from the neighbourhood and around the world who dubbed themselves “Team V”. Again, it is a reflection of Victoria’s personality and character that Team V found its own deep sense of shared purpose and dedication to providing her the practical love she so deserved.

Celebrations of Victoria’s life will be held in Boalsburg PA and in the UK.

The celebration in Boalsburg will be held on Sunday, October 20, 2019, from 2pm to 6pm at the Wyndham Garden State College Hotel,  310 Elks Club Rd, Boalsburg, PA 16827; Phone: (814) 466-2255).

This is the biggest football weekend of the season at Penn State. The game is on Saturday and hotels and highways will be clearing out by the time we gather. Nevertheless, if you are attending from out-of-town and need help finding a place to stay, please contact Cathy Braithwaite (cathybraithwaite@verizon.net). Likewise, if you are local and can offer a bed to someone coming from out of town, please contact Cathy. 

In true Victoria style, she would like people to wear bright colours and come prepared to share their reflections on “what a pain in the arse it’s been to have me in their lives”.

The details of the UK celebration will advised in due course.

In lieu of flowers, people are invited to make a donation to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org/give.html .