Meet Pat Dando
As a passionate woman with a heart for service, Pat Dando will always be remembered for her philanthropy, advocacy, and meaningful contributions to her community.
Meet Pat Dando
Pat Dando Legacy Endowment
After her passing in 2017, the Pat Dando Legacy Endowment Fund was created to memorialize Pat’s love of children and education. The endowment supports children's programs, materials, and resources at the Almaden Library and Community Center in San Jose, California.
Pat Dando Legacy Endowment
About the Art
Accomplished artist Mario Chiodo created the Pat Dando sculpture in 2020. Displayed outside the Almaden Library and Community Center, this beautiful bronze memorial sculpture features Pat Dando sitting amicably on a bench with two children.
About the Art
Watch a recording of the Dec 19th virtual gathering that officially unveiled the Pat Dando sculpture at the Almaden Valley Library and Community Center. The 45 minute video includes a helpful transcription.
Pat Dando Legacy
Excerpt from Memorial Plaque
Remember + Honor + Inspire
Pat was raised with modest means by a hard-working single mother in the small town of Killeen, Texas. She learned at a young age the value of education and hard work. Pat was a loving wife, mother of three and grandmother of nine.
Pat became a leader in San Jose, the 10th largest city in America. She was elected to City Council serving with distinction for 10 years. Pat was a fierce and fearless advocate for her community and San Jose. She turned a losing San Jose Arena vote to a win, resulting in the “Shark Tank” — home of the San Jose Sharks.
“Pat was a fighter. When she believed in something, she’d go through a brick wall — and pity the wall.” -Former SJ Mayor Tom McEnery
Pat co-founded the Almaden Valley Youth Counseling Service and Stroke Awareness Foundation. She was President of the Almaden Valley Women’s Club, championed the effort to build the Almaden Library and Community Center, worked in Governor Schwarzenegger’s cabinet, and served 6 years as President/CEO of San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
From humble beginnings to prominent civic leader, Pat was filled with humility, compassion and love.
Learn About the Legacy
Friends of Pat
Pat Dando was a classic American story — as she started out life in a poor Texas town, helping her mother run a laundromat and ended up among the leadership of America’s 10th largest city. From a soccer mom and PTA president to the vice mayor and Chamber of Commerce president — every step of the way, Pat loved San Jose.
Pat lived her life with a certain energy, zest and spark, as well as with wisdom and a determined spirit as she desired to help others achieve their own personal and worthwhile goals. Pat had that special quality of being able to give herself wholeheartedly to whatever she felt needed to be accomplished
Pat was a fighter. When she believed in something, she’d go through a brick wall – and pity the wall! We never should forget the effect people like Pat had in changing the city in small measured ways to lead us to what we have today. You can see it in many things in the Almaden she loved, in the downtown she helped create, and in the Arena. There was no give up in that woman.
Pat led by example, if you didn’t learn something every time you were around Pat, you just weren’t paying attention.
When she saw something was wrong, she wasn’t afraid to fix it. She taught us to have the courage to address problems, as well as to roll up our sleeves and tackle them.
She never accepted less than my very best and encouraged me to strive and to work well with others.
A favorite saying she had was, Kill them with kindness and never let them see you sweat. There was never a challenge too big for her and that confidence.
Pat Dando cared about people. People are what makes cities work and people are what city government service is all about.
Pat was involved with sports, involved with schools, involved with PTAs, wherever you needed some sort of a person that was willing to involve themself and get stuff done – it was always Pat Dando.
Pat brought people together in a way that I’ve never seen anyone else do.
She used to be the PTA President at Henderson School. She was great, absolutely great. Always terrific ideas, just a dynamo.
She really cared about the people in Almaden. She really cared about small businesses, and I really appreciate that.
She understood how immigrants work hard, how they earn, and we treasured her for that.
Pat was a caring person and cared for everybody in the city. We met her when our son Jeffrey was killed in the line of duty – he was a San Jose Police Officer. After Jeff was killed they said they wanted to do something to honor him and so Pat started a campaign to rename Golden Oak Park for our son. She went one step further and had a statue of a police officer done in the likeness of Jeff. She was the one that started all of this and saw it through to the end.
Most people only know the public side of my mom, but if you asked her what her biggest accomplishment was, she would say her greatest accomplishment was her husband and family. She was a great wife, a great mom, and a great grandma.
I found her to be a formidable opponent, but I was always pleased that we could develop a working relationship soon after the election was over and I became mayor. She was a dedicated public servant and a very supportive vice mayor… The things she accomplished were as significant as most mayors.
[Pat was] pleasant, gracious, and honest while principled, fearless, and tenacious.
Pat was a great leader, a great person and role model in how she conducted herself in politics. The policy and politics are less important than the person—and she was just a great person.
Pat was always there to lead, mentor, encourage, support and cheer other’s on. So many wonderful stories of such a special person. Pat’s memory and our community’s appreciation for her selfless service will live on.