The Quintessential Person honor is about featuring someone who has a one-to-many impact; someone who makes a positive difference to a large number of people. Patty Dowd Schmitz is the epitome of this. Raised by hardworking parents in a small town in Ohio, Patty learned the values of a strong work ethic, integrity, and the importance of education. They demonstrated a high level of commitment to achieving the American Dream. And like her parents, Patty has raised her two wonderful, successful children who are now in college.

Barrington is lucky that Patty decided to move here after her time at Northwestern. Her stalwart service to our community is evidenced by her efforts to bring a much-needed communications director position to Barrington 220. Her role with the Village is seen in events, communications, and the arts. Her love of history inspired her “A Club in the Country” book about Barrington Hills. Patty is an expert on author Laura Ingalls Wilder and plans to write a book about her one day. Like Wilder, Patty has a strong can-do pioneer spirit. Echoing Wilder’s many moves across the United States, Patty is intrigued by people’s migration across the country, with her own Dowd lineage coming to the new land shortly after the Mayflower. As did Wilder, Patty’s family migrated from the East to the West. Patty’s eye will always seek the horizon line, as she has much more to accomplish and enjoy on her amazing journey.

Here are some words that others shared about Patty Dowd Schmitz

Mosie and Kate Himes, Friends, Colleagues

We met Patty (affectionately known as PDS to us) in 2007 as a mother/daughter volunteering duo at the Barrington Concours D’Elegance. We instantly connected with Patty’s “get ‘er done” attitude and that first Concours was the start of a lifelong friendship.

Since then, we’ve worked on too many projects to name, all of which were made possible by having Patty on our team. She is a great “do-er” but also a great teacher. When you do a project with Patty, you always leave smarter and better than when you arrived. She is loyal, honest, trustworthy, hardworking, and accountable. If Patty says she’s going to do it, it’s going to get done. No project is complete without the PDS touch. To know Patty is to love Patty. All our lives are much better with you in them, PDS!

David and Carol Nelson, Friends, Colleagues

Attitude is everything, and with Patty Dowd Schmitz, everything she does is done with a smile. She is bright, creative, organized, thorough, and always a huge asset to any committee on which she serves. Our association began 23 years ago with her brainchild, The Concours d’Elegance, a regional show of Classic Cars to raise money for the Barrington Area Conservation Trust. It was very successful and was extended for a number of years to raise funds for JourneyCare, our local hospice and care center.

Since that time, she has authored and edited several books and has a wealth of knowledge about local history. As a staff member for the Village of Barrington, she supervises many special events, including Cruise Nights and the popular Metra Parking Lot Concerts, and really enjoys working with small businesses. Her connections as a member of the ESO Chorale have helped bring members of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to Barrington’s White House.

Patty is basically a cheerleader for all things Barrington! Her enthusiasm is contagious and she has a command over so many skill sets which enhance the experience of living in the village for all of us.

Beth Raseman, Friend, Colleague

Patty is a wonderful co-worker at Barrington’s White House and the Village of Barrington, who cares deeply about her team and the greater community. She has an incredible work ethic and unique ability to produce an amazing volume of high-quality work. She is an exceptional writer, graphic designer, strategic thinker, and problem solver. Patty is someone who starts with YES and makes a positive impact on every project.

Patty is a modern-day Renaissance woman; she has undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Northwestern University, loves non-fiction books, and is an expert on author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Patty loves classical music and is a talented musician who can play the oboe and saxophone. She loves travel and adventure, and the outdoors. Patty is also an incredible baker, if you are really lucky, she will bake you one of her famous pies.

Finally, I would add that she is an extremely passionate person, who pours her heart and soul into life, her family, and friends. I love working with Patty and feel blessed that she is also my friend.


Patty Dowd Schmitz in her own words

Most admired person? My most admired person is Abraham Lincoln. He was a diplomat in the finest sense, bringing together members from opposite views and parties to solve the slavery issue. His “Team of Rivals” featured a Cabinet that was made up of his strongest political rivals, because he knew he needed their voices and strengths to accomplish the herculean task he faced, with the country fractured completely in two. He also faced myriad personal problems between the emotional problems that plagued his wife, and also losing two of his sons, yet he remained steadfast and committed to his higher purpose. If you could possess a superpower, what would it be? If I could have any superpower, it would be to remain in the present more than I currently do. I am very future-focused, which can be a blessing because it keeps me driving toward my goals, but as I grow older, I am finding the peace and contentment that comes from staying in the present and enjoying each moment as it comes. What’s your favorite musical piece or song? Symphony 9 by Beethoven. Pet peeve? When people hold you to high standards, yet do not also hold themselves to the same ones they expect of you. Favorite movie? “Steel Magnolias” which is a portrait of several strong, Southern women who formed a tribe to support each other.

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