A memorial celebrating the life of Patricia Choquette will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Ingram Funeral Home, 210 Ingram Ave. in Cumming. Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 3740 Holtzclaw Road.
CUMMING — A well-known community volunteer has passed away.
Patricia Choquette, who spent several years as the connections manager for the Forsyth County Community Connection, lost her battle with kidney cancer Monday.
Kerry Rosewall, who worked for about three years with Choquette at the Community Connection, which matches nonprofits to volunteers and provides other services, said she was a generous individual who will leave behind a tremendous legacy of kindness.
“She was very unique in that she was a truly good person,” Rosewall said. “She cared so much about giving to other people and I don’t mean just giving stuff, I mean … her whole goal in life was to help people.”
Rosewall said while she worked with her, Choquette was taking classes at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus to earn a degree in human services.
Choquette’s daughter, Shawn, said her mother completed her bachelor’s degree in June, despite having battled cancer since her diagnosis in May 2013.
“Although she is not here to use her well-deserved degree, I believe the journey made it all worth it,” Shawn Choquette said. “She met so many amazing people, studied abroad in Nicaragua, and touched the souls of so many, not just in Forsyth, but around the world.”
Rosewall said she was grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the elder Choquette.
“She really would do anything to make the world a better place. She had a true spirit for that and it was so genuine.”
Rosewall recalled how one time a lady came into the Community Connection needing help with something that was outside the scope of services the organization provides.
“But Patricia, on her own, not knowing this woman at all, went to her house and helped her move,” Rosewall said. “That’s just the kind of person she was. She would do more for people than the average good person.”
Annaliza Thomas, executive director of Literacy Forsyth, one of many nonprofits in the county for which Choquette volunteered, agreed.
“She was dedicated to helping people and not just helping them by giving them a handout, but by really teaching them how to help themselves and how to realize their dreams.”
Thomas said Choquette, who volunteered with the organization since 2011 and became a board member in 2012, was a true inspiration to the GED students that Literacy Forsyth assists.
“Patricia came from California, and when she was 14 she dropped out of school and started working to help her mom, so she really struggled,” Thomas said. “But she had an amazing work ethic.”
Thomas said Choquette and her husband, Tim, moved to the Atlanta area in 1996 so he could work for the Olympics.
Besides Shawn, they also have daughter, Julie, and son, T.J., who are all grown.
Thomas said once all three of Choquette’s children had finished college a few years ago, the volunteer decided it was time for her to pursue her GED.
“So she attended our GED program and got her GED in two weeks of studying with us,” Thomas said. “She then went on to immediately enroll in the University of North Georgia, which was then Gainesville College.”
Thomas said Choquette was a “lead-by-example-type of person.”
“We especially liked her working with us because she was a GED graduate and she was a really great example to our students and our other board members as to what we’re trying to accomplish in our community by helping individuals and why we should help them.”
While Thomas said she works with many great people in the community, Choquette was definitely special.
“I feel like I work with a lot of really amazing people,” she said, “and Patricia was just the best of the best.”