People in Your Neighborhood: Patricia McGill, La Jolla Woman’s Club house manager

Editor’s Note: La Jolla Light’s “People in Your Neighborhood” series shines a spotlight on notable locals we all wish we knew more about! Light staff is out on the town talking to familiar, friendly faces to bring you their stories. If you know someone you’d like us to profile, send the lead via e-mail to editor@lajollalight.com or call us at (858) 875-5950.

Upon meeting Patricia McGill, house manager at the La Jolla Woman’s Club (LJWC), what stands out most are her directness, poise and hearty laugh. This 74-year-old hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and has lived in La Jolla for 18 years. She volunteered to manage the Irvin Gill-designed building that is the LJWC’s headquarters four years ago.

How did you end up in La Jolla?

“From Ohio, my husband found a job in a small town in Michigan. We were there in the mid-1960s until the ’70s, when we were transferred to San Diego. We lived in North County for 13 years, and then we were transferred to Mobile Alabama, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. My husband retired and we always knew we wanted to move to La Jolla. So it took a while to find a house in the Barber Tract, which is a fun place to live.”

How did you come to join the Woman’s Club leadership?

“In our lives, we moved 13 times. We’ve remodeled five homes, built one, and I like that kind of thing, I’m happy in a hardware store. I had to do a lot of things on my own because my husband was gone a lot. If I couldn’t use a hammer and a screwdriver, and deal with contractors, I needed to step up and do that.

One day, I was on the floor doing yoga here at La Jolla Woman’s Club and looking at the stained ceilings; everything needed paint, and I wanted to do something about this. When the job for House Director became open, I raised my hand and it really suits me.”

What do you like about this position?

“It’s a really nice environment. We have people coming in the building who have lived In La Jolla all their lives and who have never stepped foot on this property, which is stunning to me. So opening up the doors for more public events that are free makes a huge difference in getting people to recognize who we are and why we are here. We have a shopping event, and we have our speaker series, which has been terrific, and we have a lot of new members coming in because of it.”

How did you meet your husband?

“He tapped me on the shoulder and asked me who I was in Vermilion Ohio, at a summer resort. I was with a friend, and we were waiting in line to go into a restaurant. The next week I got a phone call where I worked, and he asked me out to dinner, and that was it.”

How long have you been together?

“We have been married for 48 years. We have six kids, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, who are twin boys.”

What’s the secret behind your beautiful white hair?

“It’s genetics. My mother, my aunts, my grandmother, my father, all have grey-white hair, it just happens. My daughters couldn’t be caught dead with it (laughs) but I just made up my mind a long time ago that it would be a battle that I would never win, and so I just let it happen.”

Do you have a favorite color?

“Green. I’ve always liked green because it’s an inside/outside color. I don’t like to wear it, but I like to be surrounded by it.”

What do you do for fun?

“Travel, travel, travel.”

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