Amy Moore Paterson

April 28, 1972November 6, 2018

Amy Paterson died peacefully at home on Tuesday, November 6 surrounded by her family.

She was born Amy Melissa Moore on April 28, 1972, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Soon after, her father, John, a physicist, and mother, Ann, a teacher, moved the family to the burgeoning Silicon Valley. Two years later, they moved north and settled in the Oak Hills neighborhood in Beaverton, Oregon, where the family has lived ever since, enjoying a back-deck view of the nation’s best neighborhood fireworks show.

Amy attended Mrs. Woods’ first Kindergarten class at Oak Hills Church, Oak Hills Elementary, and Meadow Park Middle School before moving on to Sunset High School, where she played soccer and lettered in theater.

Amy attended Connecticut College where she graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with honors in English. She was also awarded the Sarah Ensign Cady Memorial prize for reading English literature aloud in a clear, meaningful way. She was involved in theater, including directing a production of Samuel Beckett’s Rockaby. Amy listened to the Stone Roses and served as a residential assistant in her dorm, which she swore wasn’t because of the private-suite bathtub. It was in a college theater production that Amy met her husband-to-be, Justin Paterson, when both were cast in Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano.

In the summer between her junior and senior years, Amy interned at the Pearl Theater Company in Manhattan and lived alone in a sublet flat in Hell’s Kitchen. During her final year of college, Amy returned home to Portland for the summer and fall to take classes at Portland State University and work part-time at Willamette Week.

After graduating college in 1994, Amy returned to Portland to work at Portland Opera in fundraising and marketing. Two years later, she began a life-long career in public relations at LANE PR, where she became a vice president and helped grow the firm from four employees to more than 30. During those years she also worked on meaningful nonprofit causes, including co-chairing Taste of the Nation, a culinary event that raises money to fight hunger.

Justin eventually joined Amy in Portland and the two were married at Portland’s White House Bed and Breakfast in May 1998. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this past spring. The couple had more than two beautiful decades of exploring Oregon, stripping wallpaper, cross-country skiing, visiting Maine, pulling weeds, drinking wine with family and friends, and parenting. Their red-headed son, Jonah, joined them in October 2003. Three is a magic number.

In the summer of 2006 Amy was first diagnosed with breast cancer. The following year she attended more than 144 medical appointments, all while raising a toddler. Because of that experience, she and a friend cofounded My Little Waiting Room, a nonprofit that provides free drop-in child care to families at Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland hospitals. To date, those two locations have supported nearly 50,000 child visits. Through her dedication, Amy was honored nationally and locally through recognition from L’Oréal’s Women of Worth, 1000 Points of Light Tribute award, Avon’s Hello Tomorrow Fund, Kids II Pink Power Mom, and Portland Monthly magazine’s Light a Fire award.

In the fall of 2012, Amy’s breast cancer returned, and she retired from LANE PR but remained on its advisory board. A few years later, she enrolled in Pacific University’s Master of Fine Arts program where she furthered her passion for losing herself in books, scribbling notes on tiny slips of paper, and writing poetry, essays, and nonfiction. She graduated with her MFA in the winter of 2018. She also served on the Beaverton Education Foundation during this time to support her son Jonah’s education.

This past summer, the family traveled to London and fed her obsession with the Royal Family and its weddings and jewels. She loved cats, especially her own (Bruce and Willis); basketball; improvising lyrics to songs on road trips; creating the perfect campsite; cooking; Pilates; tea; Tom Petty; sitting quietly at her desk; and soft-serve ice cream cones, which she would sometimes deliver to the family in the sticky cup holders of her car. More than anything, she loved being a mom.

She was and will always be cherished by her many longtime and loyal friends from all phases of her life, and beloved by her family who were with her at the end.

Amy is survived by her husband, Justin, and her son, Jonah Paterson; her parents, Ann and John Moore; her in-laws, John and Dean Paterson; her sister, Pam, her brother-in-law, Greg, and her nephew and nieces, Cody, Emma, and Kyra Grater; and her brother-in-law, Adam and his wife, Diana Paterson. She will be deeply missed by her East coast Johnson and Carroll cousins.

A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2019. Those wishing to donate in Amy’s honor are invited to give to My Little Waiting Room at


Amy Moore Paterson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kristin Hamann (Anderson)

November 15, 2018

I knew Amy as Pam's younger sister :)
We all grew up together in Oak Hills and were on swim team together in the summer. She was also the same age, and in the same grade, as my younger sister, Heather. Sadly, we lost Heather to stupid breast cancer in 2015. When she passed, I remember hearing that Amy was fighting too, and hoped and prayed for a better outcome for her, and her family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Rikki Ford

November 11, 2018

I was lucky enough to know Amy through her sister, Pam. Amy had a warmth about her that she carried into any room she entered. Amy was always so generous with her time and resources. Thank you to Pam and Greg who introduced Amy into my life, I will always remember her fondly.

Rikki Ford

Stephanie Mikos

November 10, 2018

My thoughts are with you at this time! Amy will always have a place in a lot of hearts. We will all remember and love her.


November 10, 2018

The theatre family is indeed a family who love one another, support one another and now we mourn together. My heart is deeply saddened at your loss. Amy is forever captured in my mind as a teenager full of life and laughter. My deepest sympathy to you all.

Pam Drake (Shaffer)

Greg Grater

November 8, 2018

We found this picture in one of Amy's photo albums this weekend. The picture is of Pam and me opening our wedding present from Amy in 1995. Amy picked the Rilke quote below, had Liz's mom hand write it on canvas and framed it for us. It has always been prominently displayed not only because of the beautiful artwork, but because of the meaning behind the words.

The inscription reads:

Isn't it the secret intent
of the taciturn earth
when it forces lovers together
that inside there boundless emotion
All things may shudder with joy

When we opened the gift, I couldn't take my eyes off the words. How could someone find the perfect words to describe how I felt about Pam? Amy did! Amy's understanding of the union between words to emotions was like no other. Amy was always there with a gracious smile and a deep sole that took the time to know you, care for you and challenge you to make all things shudder with joy.

Amy, we will miss your gentle smile and your fierce intelligence for all things good.

Love ya Aims.