Remembering a life of ‘painting with sunshine’

You will have seen their ad over the years in this community paper – H & M Home Decorators. I hope it was your good fortune to have needed painters in your home and that their ad caught your eye. It did mine and the moment they entered my home, they captured my heart. They transformed my home and quite frankly, my take on life. It seems they painted my rooms with their sunshine. I just kept adding rooms needing to be painted so that they could stay in my life. And they did stay, long after I ran out of rooms.

Pat Moffatt, right, was half of a perfect partnership with DJ Hamilton.

One half of this perfect partnership, Pat Moffatt, passed away in June. Pat was a working actor. Her accomplishments include a starring role in Crossroads and in the cult TV series Strange Paradise, and a two-hander on CBC TV with William Shatner. Pat was also Canada’s top female commercial announcer. Locally, she directed two plays with Kew Beach Players.

There is no telling the life story of Pat without telling the life story of DJ, a talented and accomplished singer and actor, and Pat’s partner in life. As with so many female artists, midlife saw them sidelined. But they fought back. They lined up for duty in the art of decorating homes. They were imaginative, creative, enthusiastic, hardworking and unstoppable. They were a very talented team and perfection was their goal. It was a physically challenging life, but if there was grumbling, I never heard it. They were always positive, bringing a spark of life to their work. They were never bitter unemployed actors. They were happily employed, unemployed actors, invested in life.

Pat and DJ made this new work important because they saw it that way. They were open to suggestions, but great at guiding you to what they thought was best. They could change your outlook on any problem, not just the colour you thought your living room should be. Pat and DJ were all heart. There was listening, comforting and counselling, along with artistic direction in décor. There was genuine interest in their client. I felt that interest; in my house, in my children, in my life. It was a no-fail recipe for friendship.

While they painted, they talked. Their conversation as they worked was like a soft breeze floating through my home. While DJ bubbled, Pat percolated. While DJ roared with laughter, Pat chuckled with amusement. It was a true pleasure to have them transforming my home. I sang their praises and made certain that others would benefit from their special talents. Jobs multiplied. They went on to coat our little comer of the world in every colour of the rainbow.

Pat lived her time with cancer with a quiet grace. She was not alone. To the very end, Pat and DJ were a team. They continued learning and teaching about life, painting the Palliative Care Unit of East General Hospital the colours of joy and gratitude.


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