Dr. Patty Ammon
Dr. Patty Ammon
October 10, 1956 – September 16, 2012
Dr. Patty Ammon passed away gently at her home on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. She leaves behind a hole in the heart of the community, but also a legacy of healing, compassion, and strength in the face of adversity. Patricia Ammon was born October 10, 1956, in Florence, Kentucky to Robert and Margie Ammon, following siblings Tom and Linda. After gaining her nursing degree, she worked in St. John’s Hospital in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There, fellow nurse Dale Yocum was quick to recognize the gem that she was, and did not give up until she agreed to marry him in 1982. Patty knew that her calling went beyond nursing, and so returned to her home state to earn a medical degree from the University of Kentucky. After completing her residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction in the late 1980s, she practiced in both Telluride and Montrose before taking on and expanding Ouray County's only medical facility. Initially in the old Idarado clinic building, the Ouray Clinic became St. Mary's Clinic in Ridgway and ultimately the current Mountain Medical Center. During this time, Patty received her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Rather than slow her down, it instead fueled her passion to gain a deeper understanding of healing practices beyond traditional western medicine. Patty came to believe that both the spirit and body work together for physical health. To this end, she pursued studies in Ayurvedic medicine, which led to her integrated treatment approaches. A brilliant student, she was one of the first people to complete a fellowship in the Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Arizona. Patty then anchored a group of providers that have nourished Ridgway's integrative medicine services in the community today. Patty always gave her best to her patients and there was never a clock ticking when she was with them. While she inspired the best in them, she also felt as though she gained strength and perseverance in return. Patty considered her life to be full of miracles, not the least of which was that her own health could be maintained through her sense of spirit-mind integration. However, she felt that her greatest miracles were her two adopted sons, Ryan (14) and Ian (12). She was - first and foremost - a dedicated and inspirational mother. While the void in her sons’ lives can never be filled by her loss, the infinite love that she gave was enough to last throughout their lifetimes. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 21, at 1:00 in Ridgway’s Hartwell Park. (Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs.) A potluck will follow at the Yocum Home at 250 S. Laura St. in Ridgway. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the Patty Ammon Fund established at the Alpine Bank in Ridgway, to be used for a project in a medically underserved area.