Dr. Patricia Veronica Symonds, 86, of Providence, R.I., Cuttyhunk and Useppa Island, Fla. died on Nov. 6 at St. Elizabeth’s Manor in Bristol, R.I. with her husband Alan at her side.

She had been in declining health for several months.

Patricia was the first of three children born in Liverpool, England to Walter and Anita (Stenberg) Heard on March 21, 1932. After high school, she married before emigrating to the United States in 1952 with the first of three daughters. Her first marriage ended in divorce.

In June 1967, Patricia married Alan E. Symonds, Sr., who had three children, from his previous marriage. Together, Patricia and Alan had a son, who completed their blended family.

She was a passionate academic and educator. While her youngest children were still at home, she enrolled at Brown University where she earned bachelor’s (magna cum laude), master’s, and doctoral degrees in anthropology.

She did extensive research in the late 1980s in a Hmong village in northern Thailand. Her ethnographic study Calling in the Soul: Gender and the Cycle of Life in a Hmong Village was later published as a book by the University of Washington.

She joined the anthropology department at Brown as an adjunct associate professor. During her tenure, she taught courses in her areas of expertise and mentored many students who remained close friends and colleagues.

Patricia is survived by her husband, Alan; her children, Karen Melikian, Amy Symonds, Stephen Symonds, Deborah Melikian Jones, Jane Symonds, and Alan Symonds, Jr.; her brother Walter Heard, Jr.; her four grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

She is predeceased by her parents; her eldest daughter, Susan Melikian Steinsieck; and her sister, Mary (Heard) Hanson.

A funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 10 in the Redwood Chapel, Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Partners In Health, P.O. Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284-5578, pih.org.

Condolences may be left at monahandrabblesherman.com.