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Pat Zugeber, landscaper, dies

- March 13, 2006

Patricia Zugeber, a landscape supervisor at the University, died of cancer Feb. 23. She was 46.

Zugeber, who lived in Rocky Hill, grew up on several U.S. Air force Bases in France and Germany before settling in Willington. She started working at the University after graduating from high school.

Known as an “amazing talent,” she designed and planted dozens of gardens around campus, and landscaped private homes and businesses.

“Not only did Pat’s gifts add joy to our lives by creating a more beautiful physical campus, she made the world a more beautiful place by the joy and compassion she carried inside,” says Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, vice president and chief operating officer.

“I am grateful to have known her, even briefly.”

John Decker spent many years working side by side with her in the gardens.

“She had a wonderful eye for aesthetics,” says Decker, a landscape supervisor.

“I never met anyone in my life who had more of a work ethic. One of the beauties of it all was that she was able to do what she loved.”

He added, “She has given me such a great gift – because I got to work with her for 14 years. She was will be greatly missed by me and everyone.”

Allison Dempsey, business manager for facilities, says Zugeber’s “courageous battle with cancer has been an inspiration to us all. It has been a tremendous loss for us. She was a pleasure to know.”

Zugeber is survived by her husband, David Meisterling, her mother, Marie-Jose (Defauwes) Pharmer, two sisters and their families. She is predeceased by her father Joseph Zugeber.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Patricia Zugeber Garden Fund, UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269-3206.

Checks should be made payable to the UConn Foundation Inc., in memory of Patricia Zugeber.

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