Anitra Patterson was born on February 9, 1944 in New York City. She was the first of two daughters born to Lawrence Patterson and Anita Pinner-Patterson.
At 18, Anitra moved with her mother, sister and daughter to Oakland, California. She has lived in the Bay Area, Chicago Illinois, Detroit Michigan and Saudi Arabia. Anitra's travels along life's paths were fueled by determination, perseverance, a passion for learning and the pursuit of spiritual balance and cultural significance.
She earned a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in Clinical Science, a Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She taught English as a second language at Merritt College and Lincoln University and worked as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in several medical labs. Anitra was nearing completion of her doctoral work in pursuit of a Ph.D. in the epidemiology of diabetes in African cultures. In fact, she visited South Africa and Cameroon between chemotherapy treatments in pursuit of pertinent data for her thesis. She wanted to challenge accepted practices surrounding culturally based prescriptive treatments of African people with diabetes.
But Anitra was not all business.
She enjoyed African dance, all types of music and people of various cultures. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grand children. She had an impressive collection of colorful, tailored African fashions. She loved being part of the Nigerian community. She relished travel, beautiful jewelry and the color purple.
Anitra was preceded in death by her sister Jennifer Motor. Anitra leaves behind a blended family of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, a great niece and great nephew. She leaves to mourn, daughter Denise James, sons Glade Koehler (wife Angela Dauphiney-Koehler), Raymond Riley (partner Gabrielle Lang) and Manuel Riley (wife Courtney); grandchildren Angel Vargas, Kyle Patton, Andrea and Breanna Koehler, Alina and Nicos Hubbard-Riley, Akil and Kamayah Riley, Xola Fischer-Riley and Django Lang-Riley; great grandchildren Kamirah Thomas-Vargas, Nzinga Collins, Kamani Thomas-Vargas, Angel Vargas Jr.
Anitra will be missed by friends and relatives in the Bay Area, New York, Detroit, North Carolina and beyond.