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Patricia Zelver

Patricia Zelver

Patricia Zelver, a long-time resident of the San Francisco Peninsula, who grew up in Medford and was a Medford High School graduate, died on March 21 in Bozeman, Mont., where she had moved with her husband to be near their family.

Ms. Zelver was the author of novels, short stories, and children's books. Her work appeared in numerous magazines, literary journals, and anthologies, including the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Three Penny Review, and The Pushcart Best of the Small Presses. Five of her stories appeared in the annual short story collection, O. Henry Prize Stories.

Her most recent work, a children's picture book, The Wonderful Towers of Watts, was selected as a Reading Rainbow Book, and appeared on national television by PBS.

She was a graduate of the Stanford Writing Center in 1949, shortly after it was founded by Wallace Stegner, who said of her novella and short story collection in A Man of Middle Age & Twelve Short Stories, "Your humor is like a kitten hiding behind the sofa waiting to dart out and take a couple of slaps and dash back in. You made me do what I practically never do, laugh out loud (what's to laugh at most of the time?)"

Ms Zelver was born in Long Beach, Calif. in 1923. She is survived by her husband, Al; two sons, Nicholas and Michael; three grandsons, and her niece, Joan Handwerg of Medford and Lone Pine, Calif. She was pre-deceased by her parents, Frank and Katherine Farrell of Medford, and her sister, Calista Handwerg, of Medford.

There will be a memorial service on the San Francisco Peninsula on June 11. The family requests gifts in her memory be made to the Bozeman Montana Library Foundation.