Patricia Root McTague (91) passed away peacefully on September 6, 2023, with her son and daughter-in-law lovingly by her side.
Born in 1932 to Edward H. Cover and Grace W. Cover in Baltimore, MD, Patricia was an active and energetic young lady who participated in a number of sports and had a passion for equestrian events and raising and showing her Irish setters.
Growing up in an eclectic family, her father, a lawyer in Baltimore, who helped to establish the Country Club of Maryland, and was a past Grand Master of Masons in Maryland, often engaged in long discussions on history, politics, art, and religion. It was from these discussions throughout her youth which shaped Patricia’s intellectual curiosity and motivated her after graduating from Goucher College to pursue law at the University of Pennsylvania and political science at Johns Hopkins University.
After graduating from Johns Hopkins in the 1950’s, Patricia would gain employment with the YMCA with which she would travel to various regions of the world including to Cuba where she would witness first-hand the turmoil of the Cuban Revolution.
Upon returning to the United States, she would meet and eventually marry Col. Edward McTague with whom she would move to the Hudson Valley of New York and have a son, Denning Root McTague.
During the 1960’s, Patricia became an elementary school teacher and taught for a number of years in the Marlborough Central School District. Eventually, because of her lifelong love for history and art, she left the teaching profession and purchased an early Dutch Colonial home which was once owned by William Denning a member of the New York Provincial Congress in the 1770’s. It would be here that Patricia would establish her own business dealing in antiquarian books, early manuscripts, and early American antiques.
Over the next thirty plus years Patricia would establish herself as a successful dealer in the rare book world, a singular accomplishment, particularly in a field dominated by male dealers at the time. She would amass a substantial collection of early Americana during these years and gain many interesting friends along the way particularly among artists, musicians and authors including sculptor Hazel Brill Jackson, the Life Magazine editor Roger Butterfield, and folk musician Pete Seeger.
Besides her business, Patricia was a devoted mother who encouraged her son to excel in both academics and athletics traveling with him throughout the country to sporting events, museums, and concerts.
Patricia was also a great lover of animals and had many pets, both cats and dogs throughout her life which she lovingly doted on. Among her favorites were her cairn terriers Bobby, Seamus, and Sally who she memorialized in garden sculptures so that they would be with her her whole life.
After her own parents died in 1990, Patricia would eventually move from New York to take over her childhood home in Towson, MD. Here Patricia would transform her home into a garden oasis with numerous rare plantings and koi ponds surrounded with unusual one-of-a-kind garden sculptures which she would commission from local artists. She also expanded her interests from colonial American art and furniture to more contemporary and outsider art which she acquired from auctions and galleries throughout the United States. She also had a fondness for Native American and Central American pottery and sculpture and traveled to artisans in Mexico and the US southwest where she purchased original indigenous works which she incorporated in her Towson home.
Patricia made many friends in and around the Towson area and felt a deep bonding with the local museums and art galleries. She was a devoted grandmother, who’s greatest joy was spending time with her two grandchildren. One of her favorite activities was to go on vacation with them to the beach at Cape May, NJ and have a martini at Congress Hall. Patricia spent her last 18 months at Appleton, WI with her family, a time they all cherished together. The family appreciates the love and support provided by the Touchmark team during this time.
Patricia will always be remembered as a fiercely resilient soul who lived life to her fullest and believed passionately in the promotion of independent and free-thinking culture. She is survived by her son Denning, his wife Emma and their children Mabel and Dashiell.