Dayton loses local IT pioneer and wine/dining ambassador Patty Vendt

Patricia “Patty” Vendt, a pioneer in the local information technology field and an ambassador for the Dayton-area wine and dining community, died Sunday, Oct. 22. She was 68.

Vendt, of Kettering, was a graduate of Wright State University and worked at WSU for more than three decades. She retired from the university after 32 years as Email and Collaboration Software Administrator in the WSU Computing Center.

Vendt was a female pioneer in the local computer and tech community. She served on the executive committee of the Dayton Chapter of Infraguard, an association of businesses, academic institutions and law enforcement agencies dedicated to increasing the security of critical computer systems and other IT infrastructures.

In recent years, Vendt was a fixture at the 2nd Street Market on weekends, where she helped at the Jon Graham Pottery booth. She also was a volunteer and supporter of the Miami Valley Institute of Food and Spirits farm-to-table children’s educational program.

>> Obituary: Patricia Vendt

In the Dayton dining and wine community, Vendt was well-known as a one-person Welcome Wagon of sorts to those just starting their appreciation of wine and food at local drop-in tastings and special dinners. She would inevitably be the first to welcome newcomers and make them feel comfortable at these events.

For years, Vendt compiled a community-wide list of wine tastings, special dinners and other events and emailed the details of those events each week to hundreds of email subscribers. She shunned the limelight, often choosing to help behind the scenes at some of these same events, especially special wine luncheons and dinners at Jay’s Restaurant in Dayton.

“Patty was truly the thread of our communal fabric,” Michael Freeman, representative for Mason-based wine distributor Vintner Select, wrote in a tribute on a local Facebook wine community page.

"She composed all the area wine tastings, reaching out to any willing restaurant or shop to find out what was being poured. She did this for years. And she did this out of the generosity of her own spirit. She was also a loyal supporter of all those she promoted, eager to engage anyone in the room and share her passion for great food and wine."

Vendt is survived by her brother David (Mary Hart) of Lebanon, Ohio, her sister Carol of Oconto, Wisconsin and nieces Sarah (Nathan) of New Orleans and Mary Asher (Brice) of Virginia Beach.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Tobias Funeral Home Far Hills chapel at 5471 Far Hills Ave. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. A Celebration of Life reception will follow at Jay’s Restaurant, 225 E. Sixth St. in Dayton.

Contributions may be made to Camp Emmanuel, PO Box 752343, Dayton, Ohio 45475; Miami Valley Institute of Food and Spirits Farm-to-Table Children’s Educational Program, 1470 Sugarhill Lane, Xenia, Ohio 45385; or Brain Injury Association of America, P.O. Box 7416, Merrifield, VA 22116-7416.

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