Patricia Elizabeth Sudnik

CAPE ELIZABETH – Patricia Elizabeth Sudnik died peacefully at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Jan. 24, 2020. She had celebrated her 71st birthday a few days before and, miraculously, her third grandchild was born just two hours prior to her passing.She is survived by her husband of 48 years, William Luneburg; her two children, Matthew (Paige) and Kathryn (Rob); and three grandchildren, George, Eleanor, and Louise; along with her two siblings, Michael Sudnik and Beverly Fennell. Pat was born in Easthampton, Mass. in 1949 to a Coast Guard officer, Louis Sudnik, and his wife, Adeline. Changing duty stations for her father brought the family up and down the east coast and as far west as Ohio. “Going with the flow” was thus something she early had to master—a skill (and temperament) she exhibited throughout her life. Pat graduated as a history major from Newton College of the Sacred Heart, Newton, Mass., in 1970, then earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Detroit in 1972, and was chosen to participate in a special accelerated course in the Chinese language at Columbia University during the summer of 1972. After moving from Boston to Chicago in 1973, she was a doctoral student and, then following completion of all her coursework in American Diplomatic History, a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago. Completion of her dissertation was interrupted with the birth of her son, Matthew, in 1983. Typical of Pat’s gracious and giving nature, she ultimately chose to be a full-time parent rather than pursuing an academic career. After co-authoring a book reflecting part of her dissertation research on DuPont and the international chemical industry, she happily moved on in her life, with her second child, Kathryn, born in 1987. Given both her strong commitment to education and her love of children, it gradually became clear to her that her true mission in life was to be an elementary school teacher. In 1996 she enrolled in another master’s program, this time in education, at the University of Pittsburgh and received her degree in 1998. In 1999, she began full-time teaching at Memorial Elementary School in Bethel Park, Pa., where she taught third grade. She loved everything about teaching and cared deeply for all her students, their parents, and her fellow teachers. Reluctantly, she was forced to retire in 2012 because of on-going treatment for multiple myeloma that was first diagnosed in the fall of 2011. Pat and her husband moved to Portland in 2014 and lived in Cape Elizabeth. They had deep ties to Maine where her husband’s family owned a summer home on Cliff Island from the 1920s where Pat first visited in 1970. She returned to Cliff year after year for almost 50 years with her family. Both her children were married in Maine. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 885 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107. Arrangements are under the guidance of Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine 04106. Online condolences may be expressed at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation.