The Friends of Wilderness Park board of directors is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Patricia June “Pat” Rand. Pat was a professional botanist and ecologist who, during her career, was a university professor, environmental consultant to government and industry, and National Park naturalist. She was an Assistant Professor of Botany in the late sixties and early seventies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). During her time there, she was instrumental in the establishment of Wilderness Park as a nature preserve. We are eternally grateful for her tireless work and dedication as a botanist, educator, and advocate.
While in Lincoln, Dr. Rand wrote an occasional column for the Lincoln Journal-Star newspaper entitled “Afield and Afoot”, dealing with various ecological and natural outdoor issues. Pat Rand was a very capable writer with multiple published botanical and ecological works, in addition to her newspaper columns. In 1973, Pat Rand moved to California and worked for ARCO as an environmental consultant to mitigate many ecological impacts of oil & gas exploration. Her work for ARCO continued into the seventies and
eighties, and she lived in Pasadena during those years.
In 1990, Pat Rand retired and returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, eventually moving in with her friend Dr. Theo Sonderegger, who had been widowed. They spent many years as housemates and traveling companions, and shared an apartment since 2008 at The Grand Lodge in Lincoln. Pat Rand was known for her dry, somewhat sarcastic sense of humor, and was a devoted friend to those who knew her well. She loved animals and plants, and rejoiced in the wonders of the natural world. Pat Rand was cremated, and her friend Marilyn Darling has graciously agreed to scatter her ashes in places she deeply loved.
Since Pat was so devoted to environmental preservation, memorials in her name can go to Friends of Wilderness Park.Make checks payable to Friends of Wilderness Park, and send them to P.O. Box 81171, Lincoln, NE 68501. Or make your donation online. Funds collected through this memorial will be used for the Wilderness Nature Camp Scholarship Fund, which helps provide summer activities and nature education for children ages 6 – 16 in Wilderness Park. Thank you!