Patricia (Mercadante) Valiante
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia M. Valiante (Mercadante), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Patricia “Patti” Mercadante Valiante, 64 of Harding Road in Amsterdam, passed away at home on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 surrounded by her family, after a courageous and inspiring 12-year battle with cancer.
Patti was born on November 3, 1955, the first child of Thomas Mercadante and Kathryn “Rita” Fasolino Mercadante. Patti attended Amsterdam schools and was a member of Amsterdam High School’s Class of 1973. Patti knew from a very early age that she wanted to teach music. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Daemen College in 1977 and obtained her Master’s in Music from Ithaca College in 1983. After college, she taught music at New Lebanon Central School and The Greater Johnstown School District until she found her home in the Greater Amsterdam School District. Initially starting as an Elementary Music Teacher, she moved on to the AHS Marching Band Assistant Director/Woodwind Teacher and Majorette Advisor (including a trip to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade); but the majority of her career was as the Choral Music Director. For over 35 years, Patti spearheaded what was a small choral program and with drive, vision and determination, grew it into a highly respected, 110+ voice vocal program that included Mixed and Select choral groups. During her tenure, she also initiated and managed a Choral Music Booster Group creating multiple fundraisers including an annual Vendor Fair and the AHS Talent Show. Patti actively sought out opportunities for choral competitions and showcases including Montgomery All County Chorus, Area All State Chorus, New York State School Music Association group and solo competitions, Music in the Parks (Springfield, MA) and Music Festivals Choral Competitions held in various locations across the East Coast. Her groups consistently placed 1st or 2nd with ratings of Outstanding and Excellent at all competitions attended. Some of her favorite memories were trips to perform in Canada and twice in Walt Disney World. She also functioned as the Class Advisor for the Class of 2011, Co-Advisor for the Class of 2014 and received the Senior Class Yearbook Dedication for the Class of 2011; shewas a Curriculum Leader for the AHS Music Department and acted as aMentor Teacher for many newly hired teachers to the Greater Amsterdam School District. Patti also provided private music and vocal lessons to untold numbers of students throughout her entire career.
Each winter you could find her students caroling through the halls of local nursing homes, at the Kristy Pollak Christmas Event for the Hope of Severely Ill Children and the St. Mary’s Light A Light Festival. She rarely declined an invitation for her students to perform and celebrated all of their shows both large and small. Her selfless dedication inspired generations of students to “find their voice” with many going on to pursue careers in music, music education and in teaching in general, including her own son and daughter. As her career progressed, she would always be delighted when she discovered that one of her current students was the child or grandchild of her former students.
Patti always enjoyed musical theater, both as a performer in Drama Club during high school and for decades as the AHS Drama Club Vocal Director for dozens of AHS Drama Club musicals. Her passion for music was not limited to the education arena, she was a talented vocal and instrumental performer who played, sang or volunteered with multiple local groups including The Mohawk Valley Chorus (most recently directing the Youth Chorale), Amsterdam Community Concert Associate Board of Directors, the Gloversville Civic Band Concerts and directing the Galway United Methodist Church’s Annual Christmas Cantata. She had the opportunity to professionally record and perform in two of Maria Riccio Bryce’s compositions – The Amsterdam Oratorio and Swan Song. Patti also provided music for many weddings and funerals, providing joy and/or comfort with her musical gift. Many of these were done even as she was actively battling cancer; she never once let it stop her from achieving the goals she set for herself.
An avid runner, Patti could often be found running all over the city and loved when she would place in her age group in a race (especially annual participation in the Winter Wimp, Thanks4Giving and Cops and Joggers). She especially loved running races held at Walt Disney World, often in the company of her son and sister. She loved going to the beach (especially the ocean), camping, annual trips to Walt Disney World and attending events her children, nieces, nephews, Godchildren and current/former students participated in. She loved being with people and was never shy about introducing herself to anyone and everyone! Nothing exemplified this more than when she became an American Cancer Society Volunteer for St. Mary’s Cancer Center. Always projecting unwavering positivity and strength to so many receiving treatment, she cherished when former patients she had worked with approached her to share how they were doing and how much they appreciated her help. In addition, she volunteered with Children’s Aide Society. She truly loved making a difference in other people’s lives. The loss of such a force of nature and a light that shone so bright will leave a hole in the world that cannot be filled.
Patti was pre-deceased by her parents Thomas and Kathryn Mercadante and is survived by her husband of 36 years Frank D. Valiante of Amsterdam, a son Frank T. Valiante of Orlando, FL, a daughter Gianna K. Valiante of Amsterdam; three brothers, Thomas Mercadante, Jr of Los Angeles, CA, Marc Mercadante of Hadlyme, CT, Paul (Charlene) Mercadante of Los Altos Hills, CA and a sister, Andrea Mercadante (Kevin Colwill) of Amsterdam, as well as her nieces and nephews: Clifton Hebert IV of Rochester, NY, Mitchell Mercadante and Nicholas Mercadante of Los Altos Hills, CA, and Malia and Makenna Colwill of Amsterdam, NY along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, Godchildren and friends who will miss her presence in their lives everyday. Patti is also survived by her dog Bubbles, who watched over her so carefully during her final days, and her faithful felines Leo and Kitty. The family would also like to thank all of her doctors and nurses as well as the staff at Community Hospice for all the wonderful care she received.
Funeral services will be held Saturday morning September 12, 2020 at 10:00 at the Riley Mortuary, Inc., 110 Division Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010, followed at 11:00 by a Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 39 St. John Street, Amsterdam, with Rev. O. Robert DeMartinis officiating.
Calling hours are Friday September 11, 2020 from 4 to 7 at the Riley Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made online to The Patricia Valiante Music Fundon GoFundMe, or checks/money orders made out to the Greater Amsterdam School District Office c/o The Patricia Valiante Music Fund, PO Box 309, 140 Saratoga Avenue, Amsterdam NY, 12010. These donations will benefit Amsterdam High School vocal and instrumental music programs that were so much a part of Patti’s life.
To send expressions of sympathy to the family, visit www.rileymortuaryinc.com