Patricia S. Matheson

patricia matheson

March 18, 1944 ~ January 21, 2024

Born in: San Antonio, Texas
Resided in: McLean, Virginia

Patricia Matheson peacefully passed away on Sunday, January 21 in Inova Fairfax Hospital at age 79 as a result of complications of her fight against breast cancer, a fight she had waged successfully for 17 years to lead a life that was as productive and fulfilling after her diagnosis as it had been before. 

Pat was born March 18, 1944 in San Antonio, TX to Myron and Mae Schraud (Nee: Richards), younger sister to Cata and Susan.  Her father Myron was a U.S. Foreign Service officer, and she spent her early childhood in Mexico, Germany and Bolivia as a result of his foreign assignments.  She then graduated from high school in Chula Vista, California; received her Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and her Master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

She then started a long career with the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she managed assistance programs for several decades, including in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America.  In the course of that work, she managed a large staff and traveled frequently abroad.  Her work was essential in promoting economic development and social welfare in less-developed countries, and in assisting in the democratic transition of countries like Russia, Ukraine and Kosovo. After her retirement from full-time government service in 2001, she continued for many years to carry out assignments by USAID for economic and social development abroad. To her co-workers, she was a generous friend and mentor with a quick sense of humor, a positive attitude, and a deft, common-sense approach to making the bureaucracy of the federal government work to the benefit of the nation it serves.

Upon retiring from USAID Pat devoted herself wholeheartedly to the service of her local community. She worked with VA Democracy Forward, principally on encouraging voter turnout and redistricting reform; worked with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, teaching English as a second language and training ESL teachers; she served elderly community members with the Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church and led hikes with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. She volunteered for many years with the Washington Revels.

Pat was also very active in the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia, where she was a member for 34 years. A Deacon and Stephen Minister, she engaged in caregiving ministry for her fellow church members and worked with the church’s refugee resettlement team, developing personal relationships she cherished with the Afghan refugees she mentored and supported logistically. 

In her personal life, Pat gave birth to and raised a son, Scott Matheson, and was the loving spouse of Michael Matheson for more than 50 years.  They loved her dearly and miss her immensely.  They travelled extensively together throughout this country and the world; she watched grey whales in Baja California and marine iguanas in the Galapagos, parasailed off Maui and rafted the New River at age 77, and escaped attacks by a baboon in Capetown and a pelican in Islamorada. They spent many summers in Oxford, UK and in Geneva, Switzerland.

In short, Pat led a wonderful, productive and loving life. She will be sorely missed by her family and so many others. She is survived by her loving husband, Michael and her son, Scott; her sister Susan Randolph and brother-in-law Bob Randolph; their children, David, Carolyn and Brian Randolph, their families and many more family members and friends.

A memorial service for Pat will be held at 2 PM on February 24, 2024, at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church 1724 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA with reception to follow: In lieu of flowers gifts in memory of Patricia Matheson may be directed to the Refugee Resettlement Ministry at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church.


Memorial Service: February 24, 2024 2:00 pm

Lewinsville Presbyterian Church
1724 Chain Bridge Rd.
McLean, VA 22101


View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. The Owners and Staff at the Money and King Funeral Home, wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable. Please feel free to call us anytime as we are always available to you.

    Bob Gallagher
    Funeral Director

  2. Pat and I were in the same management intern class in AID starting July 1967. We discovered we lived on the same floor of the same Dupont Circle apartment building and thus walked to work together most days. I am 5’11” and she was….much shorter, but I have always remembered that she walked faster than I did. After decades working in international development agencies, we each retired and began working with our congregations on, among other things, refugee resettlement. And we both attended Revels performances for decades, where we had planned to meet last December as we always did during intermission. But she had gone to the ICU. How I will miss my friend, who never lost touch, who lodged me from time to time and who never failed to bring a chuckle to my lips. What a life!

  3. Pat taught me so much and I will miss her. Mike and Scott, I am so sorry. Mike, I remember handing out polling lit with both of you? In the pouring rain? It was inspiring!

  4. Dear Mike and Scott,
    Please accept my sincerest condolences for the passing of Pat. I continue to pray that God would bless you with comfort, strength and peace. Pat was always so kind to me, and naturally friendly to everyone around her. She was always good natured as she calmly and cheerily helped our Maritime group with each gig. Drama didn’t phase her which always made us giggle. I shall miss her and think of her grace and warmth with much love and admiration. Sending you love, and frequent prayers.

  5. Pat was always such pleasant company with such a great smile even when the going was toughest, on our PATC Easy hikes, and in facing life’s health and other challenges,

  6. Dear Mike and Scott. I will always cherish my memories of Pat. Her beautiful smile and gentle tone always made me feel like I belonged. She not only welcomed me into the Maritime Voices, but she welcomed both Aiden and Carmen. She was always quick to put them to work. You will be missed Pat. Forever in our hearts, forever in our memories.
    Joy M. Rodriguez

  7. Pat was always such a warm and friendly presence where ever in Revels she placed herself. Always able and a generous volunteer, I personally especially enjoyed our travel talks and hearing about the details of the next family trip she was planning . She fought valiantly. I very much value our encounters, she enriched my life. Sending heartfelt condolences to Scott and Mike.

  8. Dear Mike and Scott,

    Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Pat.
    I will always remember her gentle, kind, strength that was a warm, steady presence among us Revelers.
    May peace and love be with you at this difficult time.

    Mari Parker

  9. Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Pat.
    I will always remember her gentle, kind, strength that was a warm, steady presence in the Revels community.
    May peace and love be with you at this difficult time.

  10. Mike and Scott,

    My very deepest sympathies on your loss. I didn’t know Pat well but always noticed her smiling face at Maritime Voices concerts and other Revels events. She will be greatly missed.

  11. I was saddened to read about Pat’s passing. Although I didn’t know her well, I always enjoyed chatting with her at Revels performances. My sister-in-law, Margo Squire, knew her through the State Department and I am passing this along to her.

    My best to Mike and Scott. Marta Schley

  12. Taking comfort in knowing Pat made the world a better place, and knowing Pat, I imagine she will keep doing so from on high. It was great to be with her in USAID.

    Jeff and Aija Evans

  13. Pat Matheson was a special person and friend. The words that immediately come to mind are: empathy, intelligence, wit, wisdom, capability – all words that describe traits that Pat had in abundance. She was an inspiring, warm and fun friend. I shall miss her.

  14. Pat was a lovely person. I remember her always with a sparkle in her eyes and a warmth about her that is difficult to describe, but deeply felt. My condolences on your loss. I know she will be missed.

  15. Pat, you were an inspiration and a fun co water aerobics athlete friend. Your witty, upbeat nature are, and will continue to be missed by us all. I know you are already on your next adventure.

  16. Mike and Scott, our deepest condolences and sympathies. We will long remember Pat and miss her great ability to be a wonderful neighbor for many years. Always with a smile and a willingness to help. Her “drop in” visits were always welcomed and warm and friendly. We will view the Memorial Service, February 24 as it is live-streamed on the church website as will our son John and wife Joanne in MA.

  17. Gail M Spence,
    Pat was an awesome mentor and colleague. She taught me the important basic technical skills to be a great PDO and an effective FSO at USAID. I will never forget her kindness, patience and dedication to ensure that my work experience was fair, challenging and rewarding. I will never forget her impact on me as an officer and a fellow American that believes in the true meaning of human decency.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools