Stephanie Patricio was a longtime Portland comic who recently began participating in open mics in Salem, a proud descendant of the Purépecha people of Michoacán, Mexico, a former organizer for the United Farm Workers labor union, a member of MEChA, a Mexican American student group that aims for Chicano unity, and more.
This, according to their many friends and acquaintances who posted remembrances this week after Patricio was killed in a head-on collision near Aurora State Airport with a suspected drunken driver. They were 33.
“Stephanie was a friend to many members of the community, a sister and a daughter,” their brother, Francisco, said. “They touched the lives of many whether it was through laughs, education, love or friendship.”
“Heartbreaking,” said Rep. Diego Hernandez, a second term state legislator from Portland. “We lost this bright, funny, beautiful and loving soul. Stephanie Patricio was an incredibly selfless and hilarious friend to many of us.”
Patricio had performed in numerous shows and podcasts in the Portland area, most recently for a live taping of My Real Portland, a podcast spotlighting local comedy, storytelling, music, and art, at the Jade Lounge on SE Ankeny on Jan. 12 with fellow comics Christian Burke and Joseph Lyons. (Warning: The video contains graphic language.)
“We recorded her set, and we had a fun interview together,” Lyons said. “When I asked her if she was a tree, what Portland park would she like to be planted in, she replied, ‘Laurelhurst.'”
“Rest In beautiful Power, Sis,” said a friend who met Stephanie 15 years ago. “I will remember your vibrancy, powerful stance and sense of humor. Life is so unfair. You were taken too soon, too young … because of someone else’s poor choices and mistakes.”
According to the initial investigation by Oregon State Police, alcohol impairment was suspected in the crash that killed Patricio, on the part of the other driver, 29-year-old Kelsie Martin, of Beavercreek. Martin survived the collision but was transported to OHSU by Life Flight helicopter in critical condition.
As of Saturday morning, Martin was still being treated at OHSU, but her condition had been upgraded to fair. Also reached on Saturday, an OSP spokesman said the investigation was still open and no further information could be released.
He forwarded further inquiries to the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office.
According to court records, Martin was charged with DUII, reckless driving and fourth-degree assault following a different incident in December 2019. The next hearing in that case is scheduled for Feb. 13.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Patricio’s mother and brother with memorial costs and legal fees, and for missed wages due to lost time from work. You can contribute to that here.