Patricia S. Ladyko, 89, of Huntington died Tuesday, November 25th after a brief illness.
Born in Bridgeport to the late Marion Regan Smith and Joseph Smith, she was a 1942 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School.
From the time she was a child, Patricia was renowned for her voice. At the age of 8, the local Catholic bishop declared, “She has the voice of an angel!”
Patricia’s formal training began under the tutelage of the late Catherine M. Russell, dramatic soprano and Supervisor of Music for the Bridgeport Public School System. Russell took her under her wing, training her voice and encouraging a career in music.
At 16, Patricia made her formal singing debut at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport as the soprano soloist with the Bridgeport WPA Symphony Orchestra. Her drama coach, Rose Beck of Harding High School, encouraged her via Western Union Telegraph to “Sing like the Nightingale that you are!”
A coloratura soprano, Patricia went on to study voice at The Juilliard School of Music in New York City, graduating in 1945. While a student at Juilliard, Patricia screen-tested with MGM.
However, shy and quiet, she demurred against a career in Hollywood. In 1951, she married her high school sweetheart, Emil Ladyko, who went on to play football for Lou Little at Columbia University and the Philadelphia Eagles.
She attended Mass every Sunday at St Lawrence parish, where parishioners often remarked on her voice and her trademark red hat.
Her years at home as a mother were bookended with employment at the Singer Sewer Machine Company and Warnaco.
In addition to her parents, Patricia was pre-deceased by her devoted husband of 60 years, Emil, as well as a sister, Jane Smith Gamble.
Survivors include her seven children: Patricia A. Ladyko and partner, Robert W. Willard, of New York City; Mark Ladyko and wife, Lourdes, of East Windsor; Nancy Burroughs of Wilton; Beth Ladyko of Ashburn, VA; Brian Ladyko and wife, Michele, of Trumbull; Eileen Ladyko of Columbia, SC; Gary Ladyko and wife, Christa, of San Antonio, Texas; a grandson, Timothy; and two, step-grand daughters, Brooke Newell and Michelle Cuellar, as well as an aunt, Sister Ann Mary Regan, age 103, of The Sisters of Charity, Yonkers, NY.
Friends may call on Wednesday, December 3rd between the hours of 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm at the Redgate Hennessey Funeral Home, Main Street and 4 Gorham Place, Trumbull, CT.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, Dec. 4th at 11:00 am at St. Lawrence Church, 505 Shelton Avenue, Huntington. Interment will be private.
Contributions in her memory be made to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, 555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT 06511. To offer online condolences, visit www.redgatehennessy.com.