Elizabeth Livingstone Patrick, an artist, environmentalist, and co-creator of Marine Specialties, died at home in Provincetown on Oct. 14, 2022. Known as Ghee, she was 86.
The daughter of Anna Taliaferro and Kenneth M. Livingstone, Ghee was born on Sept. 4, 1936 in Washington, D.C. Her talent as a painter was apparent by the time she was in fourth grade. She graduated from the National Cathedral School and then Hollins College, where she earned a B.A. in art in 1958.
Ghee continued art studies at the American University in Mexico City, in Spain, and at the Art Students League in New York before coming to Provincetown to study under Henry Hensche and others at the Cape Cod School of Art. Her early paintings were often nautical scenes, but she painted many landscapes. She worked mostly in oils and in watercolors when she traveled.
She also worked in other media, creating still lifes, portraits, white-line woodcuts, and linoleum block prints. Her work was shown at the Provincetown and Cape Cod art associations and the Thanassi Gallery, among other venues, and is in multiple private and public collections.
Ghee met fisherman Robert I. Patrick at the A-House bar soon after she came to Provincetown. They married and created the Marine Specialties store on Commercial Street together, selling army-navy surplus and ships’ salvage. The business became a local landmark. They founded Marspec International Marine Specialties, a wholesale business, in the 1970s.
After Marine Specialties burned down in an unsolved arson in 1977, and when it burned again in the Whalers Wharf fire in 1998, Ghee was instrumental in keeping the business operating.
As executive secretary of the Fine Arts Work Center and its first vice president in 1972, she was a stabilizing force when the center was incorporated.
Preserving the natural environment was always a priority for her. Ghee pushed to create the Shank Painter Wildlife Reserve in 2001, and she served on Provincetown’s regreening and beautification committees for many years. She was often seen planting trees in traffic islands and other public spaces.
When the National Park Service wanted to move the Provincetown Transfer Station outside the Park’s boundaries, which would have required that the town’s sewage treatment plant be moved as well, Ghee led the effort to ensure that both were located on old landfills, not on unsullied land.
She is survived by her children, Pat of Provincetown and Oona of Brooklyn, N.Y.; her brother George of Alexandria, Va.; her sister, Cynthia, of McLean, Va.; her nephew, Chris, of Fayetteville, Ark.; her niece, Jennifer, of Seattle; her daughter-in-law, Francesca, of Derry, Northern Ireland; and her grandchildren, Nicolas, Eli, Avery, and Eoin.
Ghee was predeceased by her husband, Bob, and her brother Ken.
A funeral service took place on Nov. 8 at the Provincetown United Methodist Church. Burial followed in Provincetown Cemetery. Donations in Ghee’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod.