Society / Profiles

Adieu to a Lovely Lady

Pat Breen Graced the Houston/East Hampton Social Scenes With an Elegant Savoir Faire

BY // 07.06.18

Houston lost one of its loveliest of ladies this week with the passing of the genteel, ever elegant and always gracious Pat Breen. Born in New York and reared in Ireland, she moved to Houston with her husband, Dan Breen, in the late ’70s and spent the last 39 years raising six sons and sailing at the center of the city’s cultural arts milieu.

Once the boys were grown, she segued from soccer games to society galas chairing the Houston Grand Opera Ball, the Houston Ballet Ball, and special events supporting the opera. She lent her wisdom and her dollars serving on various boards, including the HGO board of governors, the Houston Ballet Foundation, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Texas Health Science Center and the UT School of Nursing.

Breen chaired the grand opening of the Hobby Center in 2002 , an evening that raised more than $1 million for the center, and most recently chaired the Brookwood Community Gala.

In 2005, she co-chaired the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon with Anita Smith. Two years later, she would enter the highly-lauded Best Dressed Hall of Fame, having made the list three times. Breen loved her fashion and was a proud devotee of Oscar de la Renta and enjoyed a passion for Chanel and Saint Laurent.

She was as much a regular at St. Anne’s Catholic Church as she was a familiar face on the tennis court, both church and fitness holding important roles in her life. Thus, Pat was long admired for her vitality, her generosity of spirit and, we have to say, her ever-charming dinner conversation.

For decades, Pat and her late husband, Dan Breen (1928-2016), cut a handsome swath across the social scenes in both Houston and East Hampton, where they had a summer home. In Houston, they were known for their elegant New Year’s Eve parties, held in their River Oaks home where Dan Breen would entertain guests with his lilting vocal chords, “Danny Boy” his favorite.

The charming and beautiful Pat Breen left us on the Fourth of July, pneumonia the villain. And just as a lady never discusses her age, we will not broach that subject. Suffice it to say, Pat Breen was always younger than springtime. She is already missed as many hearts are heavy across the city on what might be construed as a dark winter day.

Visitation will take place Monday evening at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons. Services will take place at 10 am on Tuesday at St. Anne’s Catholic Church.

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