Condolences for Patrick J. Thorburn

Jeff Roche wrote:

I apologize for just now posting this, but I only found about about Patrick's passing a few moments ago. My deepest condolences. I only knew Patrick briefly over the past few summers when he and I taught an AP training course here in Wooster, Ohio. He was a delightful and warm person that brought a passion and integrity to everything he did. I so looked forward to our time together and always came away from those week-long seminars with a renewed enthusiasm for teaching thanks to him. I am so, so sorry for your loss.


Barbara Hoferle wrote:

I knew Pat as a brand new teacher. What an amazing person he was! I’m so shocked to hear of his passing. His enthusiasm, his creativity, his humor made everything sparkle around him. I’m so sad for his wife and family. He truly is a person who can not be replaced. The kids of RMHS have lost the epitome of a great teacher and a true friend to all.


Breeda McGrath wrote:

Pat Thorburn brought love and light into everything he did - what a beautiful person! He made us laugh and made us think, he showed us how to care and how to show up with the best versions of ourselves. His inspiration, memory, love, and optimism for life will live in our hearts forever.


Kevin ODonnell wrote:

My condolences to Kathy, and the RMHS community. Pat was the epitome of a wonderful person. I had the privilege of first having him as a teacher, then mentor on my path to become a teacher, and then as someone I could call a good friend. Pat and I shared a special bond over our love of history, and how it could help create a better world. We also loved exchanging random facts, trivia, & comedy and would chat about what ever funny movie we recently saw or jokes we heard. What stood out most was Pat's ability to connect with everyone. It seemed he never shied away from being his goofy self. In that process, it allowed all of us to feel comfortable in our own skin. He genuinely cared, and put great effort in being a friend. I'm grateful for all the times he listened, made me laugh, and for the lessons he taught both in the classroom and in life. He had that rare combination of being smart, caring, and funny. I hope we carry on the values that Pat exhibited; being genuine, caring, kind, and finding the everyday fun and humor in life. Until we meet again, brother.


Cherie Liesse-Carlson wrote:

I spent fours year at RMS as a teaching assistant in the ELL classes and worked with Pat the entire time. We worked in English classes, social studies classes, and best of all, seminar. Pat was an incredibly sensitive and caring educator and readily showed his passion for his profession. He worked with students who weren't always excited to be in school and helped make them see the value of learning.His gift will be missed. My condolences to his family.. l


Erin Farina wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was a shining light at Meadows. He will forever be one of my favorite teachers. His laugh was infectious and will be so incredibly missed.


Judith Pollin wrote:

Pat was "one in a million"! Admired, loved and respected by all. Students loved him and he couldn't walk down the hall without his students or colleagues stopping him for one reason or another. Students in his classes were excited to be there and wanted to glean every bit of knowledge from him. He loved his profession and it showed. He was the keeper of all trivia, no matter how insignificant. Loved traveling and talking about the places he'd been, often more mundane spots which may have been overlooked by less astute tourists! My favorite memory of Pat is when he would tell a joke; he would begin to chuckle before he ever got to the punch line and sometimes he was already laughing so hard (usually with his eyes tearing at the same time) he had a difficult time finishing the joke! Pat was a wonderful, kind, caring man and leaves behind an incredible legacy! My deepest condolences to his wife and family, but also to all those who had interactions with him on a daily basis. He will truly be missed, and I consider myself lucky to have known him.


Bill Leece wrote:

I ended my teaching career at Rolling Meadows High School about the time Patrick began his—much too short a time for this man, this teacher, this husband. But what a legacy he leaves. Condolences to KATHERINE, relatives, friends, and the students and staff of Rolling Meadows High School.


Greg Benes wrote:

My condolences to the entire Thorburn family. Pat began his teaching career at about the time I retired in 2003. I will always remember Pat for his sense of humor and his caring attitude towards his students. As a former member of the Social Studies department at RMHS, I know he will be very much missed.


Sheila Kolodzik wrote:

I have known Pat for 23 years. He was adored by all. I will truly miss him. RMHS has lost a remarkable teacher. My love and prayers go out to his wife and family.


Joy Woollen wrote:

Having Pat as my co-teacher in American Studies was an incredible experience. Along with our students, I looked forward to class, knowing that Pat’s energy and enthusiasm would make history come alive. I greatly admired his ability to find a way to reach every student, often using humor to nurture and support learning. Pat’s passion for teaching and empathetic nature extended beyond the classroom. In many ways, he became a faithful mentor and beloved friend to those who knew him. He will be greatly missed.


Jake Joyce wrote:

My heart is absoutely broken. Mr. Thorburn was the kindest, most thought teacher I have ever had. He was really the best, and it's not even close. My condolences to his family.



Diane Adam wrote:

Pat Thorburn was one of my favorite aides, then teacher that I worked with in the RMHS Library. He brought joy to the “shhh it’s the library”. Students always congregated around him, hanging on his every word. We celebrated when he finally got that social studies teaching job at Meadows. Tom and I were thrilled when we heard he married the awesome Kathy. You are gone too soon but will never be forgotten. Thank you for all your kindness and joy. A room became sunnier when you walked in Pat.


Collin Weymouth wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was an incredible impact on my high school years. My senior year I was going through some personal issues and was cutting some classes. I took Mr. Thorburn's AP Euro class because I loved him so much as a teacher and as a person, however with the way my schedule lined up this ended up being one of the classes I was cutting. Every single time I cut his class this man would hunt me down, pull me out of whatever class I was in and take the time to sit me down and talk to me about my personal life, always asking if there was anything he could do to help. I thoroughly enjoyed every conversation I had the blessing of sharing with you, and I will very much so miss coming to visit you at one of your favorite places, as well as the little bits of historical wisdom you managed to piece into every conversation. My thoughts and condolences go out to the family during your time of sorrow. May he rest in peace in company of the many people I know he is eager to get some hot takes from.


James Schager wrote:

I had the honor to teach alongside Mr. Thorburn over my 1st couple of years of teaching at RMHS; you were a true friend over those years. Thank you Patrick for all that you've done over the years to assure students and staff at RMHS had the best experience possible while in your presence. Prayers to you and your family during this difficult time. You will truly be missed.


Jeanne Williams wrote:

Patrick Thorburn taught adult ESL in our District 214 Community Education program for several sessions while I was the program coordinator. He was a respected member of our teaching staff and popular with our students. His friendly, outgoing personality along with his professional expertise touched us all. I am so saddened by the news of his sudden passing, and I extend my deepest condolences to his wife and family members. He will be missed by all who knew him.


Allison (Lock) Jacobsen wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was an educator that you always remember. He was the one who taught the class you loved with that perfect combination of entertainment and educational rigor. His personality made me look forward to his class first thing in the morning (even on exam days). He wrote me a recommendation for my top choice college and I was so proud to go find him when I got in. Coming back and presenting him with a pennant was one of my proudest moments and I could see the pride in his face, too. I feel so blessed to be one of those who got to have him in my life, albeit for a short period of time. To his family: Thank you for sharing him with us. He was a gem of a human.


Ryan Kulpins wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was a wonderful teacher, coach, and friend - one of the most impactful teachers I had at RMHS. His enthusiasm for teaching and history will be missed. He was the perfect Scholastic Bowl coach because of his love for trivia, historical figures, and oddball roadside attractions. I'll never forget our team field trip to the haunted Raven's Grin Inn in Mt. Carroll, IL! Thanks for spreading joy & knowledge.


Jack Elliott wrote:

I was saddened to hear about Pat. I remember him as a young teacher who cared about the kids and was involved in so many ways with improving the experiences for all of us at Rolling Meadows High School. I will keep his family in my prayers.


Pete Duffer wrote:

Pat improved the lives of teachers and students. As an active member of the D214 Education Association, Pat improved the evaluation process for teachers and administrators which in turn improved the teaching and learning of many people across the district. A great leader in our community, rest in peace. I'll miss seeing you Thursday mornings at Panera. My sincere condolences to his family and the RMHS community.


Susan Bobula wrote:

Pat Thorburn’s artful teaching captured his students’ interests and enthusiasm. Many students hoped to see his name on their schedules as a semester began. Pat enhanced my teaching skills as we shared many of the same students, collaborated on shared projects, and enjoyed the shared teaching of English and Literature and U.S. History. Pat created meaningful content for our students and our field trips, and I am lucky enough to have been able to work with him. My memories of my teaching career always come back to my good fortune in being his colleague.


Quinn Ryan wrote:

It was such a privilege to learn from Mr. Thorburn. I remember finding out I would have him as a teacher and was so excited, because everyone loved him. He was hilarious, and I still tell some of the jokes he told in class, like the "pineapple on vacation" joke, the bilingual dog joke, and of course his epic whale joke, almost all of which the students only laughed at because of his huge laugh that you could hear from down the hall. He was absolutely essential to the spirit of RMHS, and I just hope that he and his family know the impact that he had on so many. Thank you so much for the laughs, Mr. Thorburn. I promise to keep telling your jokes and reciting random US history facts for you. Rest in peace (and laughter)


Teddy Perez wrote:

The loss of Mr. Thorburn is truly heart wrenching and unexpected. Mr. Thorburn was easily the best teacher I’ve ever had. He was my seminar teacher for all 4 years, my history teacher during junior year, a mentor, and a friend. I have countless memories of him that I will forever cherish when I reflect back on my high school education. He was always willing to point any student in the right direction and would do anything to see his students smile. My sincerest condolences to Mrs. Thorburn, his family, friends, coworkers, and his former/current students. I will never forget the sound of you screeching “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston at the top of your lungs. We really did love you Thordog. Thanks for making our seminar special and for the moral values that you instilled in all of us Mr. T


Alan Galatte wrote:

Although I only taught with Pat for a short time, I loved his humor and passion for teaching. He was always for the students. He will be missed.


Laurine Ngouatou wrote:

Throughout my 3 years of scholastic bowl at RMHS, Mr. Thorburn always encouraged me to be part of the team and to participate. Having him as a sub-teacher for US history was always fun. Thank you for everything. RMHS class of 2015.


Allie Ontaneda wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was a teacher I will never forget. It was a privilege to learn from him. His jokes, history facts, kindness, joy, laugh, and love for learning will forever be in the hearts of those whose lives he touched. He has shown me the kind of teacher I want to be for my students; he has set the bar very high. My heart goes out to Mrs. Thorburn and family during this time. Praying for peace and strength. God bless. -The Ontaneda Family


Shaina Summerville wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was one of my favorite teachers at RMHS. He made history fun and I still remember much of what I learned from him. He always made projects fun and his class was one of the rare moments I enjoyed a group project. I will never forget when he would write spelling or grammar mistakes on the board, like one someone wrote “mechanical rapers” rather than “reapers.” My parents and I came across a book of similar misspellings or misinformation from AP exams that I ended up getting a second copy of because I just HAD to gift it to him. I always knew RMHS students were getting the best possible history education with him. Rest In Peace. And I’m sorry for your loss.


Angelica Michelis wrote:

So sorry for your loss! Praying for you and your family. Stay strong, Kathy.


Jessica Escutia wrote:

You didn't have to have Mr. Thorburn as a teacher to know that he was loved by any student who had him as a teacher. I heard he was an amazing teacher, funny, and well respected and liked by staff and students. My prayers go out to his family and friends during this time.



Todd Schaap wrote:

Hey Pat, For all the bets on the temperature of the World's Tallest Thermometer and trip to the mustard museum. You bring wonderful memories to all the people you encounter.



Shawb barnes wrote:

He was the best teacher. I hated school. But I went because his love and passion made school fun and tolerable. He will be dearly missed. Stay positive life will push forward.


Laine and Alan Galatte wrote:

So shocked. What a loss. Condolences to Kathy.


Dalila Crespo wrote:

Working in the classroom with Pat was an amazing experience. He knew how to get the students’ attention. He made learning fun. The students always laughed at his whale joke, no matter how many times he would say it. His laugh was very contagious. It has been a privilege for me to have worked with such a master of his craft. He not only was a great teacher, but also a great friend. I will miss him.


Alex Kotowski wrote:

He will he missed. He was one of my favorite teachers at RMHS, and of a subject I didn’t really like to boot. He made class fun and had me looking forward to each one.


Dave Froehlich wrote:

Pat Thorburn was an innovative, creative, motivational, and caring educator. He was loved and respected by students, peers, and community members. Easily one of the top teachers of all time at RMHS- a passionate, empathetic, and dedicated professional. We should be thankful that he chose education as a profession. His legacy provides an inspiration for all who care truly and deeply about making a difference!


Melissa Beloiu wrote:

Mr. Thorburn was a wonderful history teacher who always made class enjoyable. He was always able to put a smile on everyone’s face and had such a positive impact on so many at RMHS. He will he dearly missed.


Dave Froehlich wrote:

Pat Thorburn- an extraordinary person and even better teacher- loved by all, caring, brilliant, innovative, creative, and a paragon of excellence for educators. So few are so well respected, admired, and loved by students and peers. His legacy is to care, motivate, !stimulate, and innovate, one of the best educators I’ve ever known.


Linda Broska wrote:

Kathy & family, there are no words to express my feelings . Huge loss to you all and a huge loss to RMHS . He was an excellent educator & a wonderful friend .


The Atkins Family wrote:

Our dearest condolences. RMHS halls will never be the same.