In Memory of Patti Heimburger

In Memory of Patti Heimburger

Terry Gannon, Carolyn Gannon, Patti Heimburger, and Tony Brizzolara.

On April 3, 2019, the world said an early goodbye to 75-year-old Patti Heimburger, an artist, philanthropist, and world traveler who graced the East Bay with her art, spirit, and generosity for the last three decades of her life.

Patti was born and raised in Long Beach, California, where she showed an early interest in and aptitude for the arts. Though she left college early to marry, she returned many years later, completing her degree in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara in 1986. “Patti was always a very talented artist and singer, but it was at UCSB that she really developed her skill.” says her sister, Carolyn. “It opened her world.”

Armed with both a degree and the newfound confidence to pursue a second career as a visual artist, Patti moved to Oakland and fully immersed herself in its emerging and vibrant art scene. Though she didn’t yet have the means to donate large sums, she quickly found meaningful ways to give back to her community, with a focus on organizations involved in arts, education, and women’s equality. She was very active in the Alameda chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW); in addition to serving as President of AAUW-Alameda’s Board, Patti was a dedicated volunteer, instituted their annual College of Alameda Scholarship, and served on the committee for Tech Trek, a program that provides scholarships and encouragement for young women pursuing STEM education. Patti was also a participant and/or donor at Rhythmix Cultural Works, Super Stars Literacy, and too many more to list.

Patti was introduced to many of these local organizations through the East Bay Community Foundation. “Once Patti had some wherewithal, she really turned to EBCF for information on the community and education on how to best apply her giving,” Carolyn says.

Patti’s generosity knew no borders. She was an avid and adventurous world traveler who visited nearly every corner of the globe – from Europe, to India, to the Galapagos – and built meaningful relationships along the way. As a result, she supported numerous global relief organizations and even helped fund the building of a school in Sierra Leone.

Carolyn says that with no children of her own to save for, Patti dedicated as much as she could to “adopting” children and causes at home and across the globe. “She really thrived on seeing young people find transformation—through art, through music, through education. She hoped for a lot out of life and sought to make the world a better, more beautiful place for all.”

EBCF is proud to have supported Patti in building a legacy as beautiful and lasting as her artwork, and we celebrate with gratitude all that she did to create greater social and economic opportunity for our East Bay community.


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