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Patricia Ann Small Kellett

Patricia Ann Small Kellett, known professionally as Patricia Small, passed away in her home in Tiburon, CA, on January 31, 2017, at the age of 71, surrounded by family. She is survived by her daughter, Jessica Kellett; Jessica’s husband, Drew Zepernick; her granddaughter, Danielle; four sisters; many nieces and nephews; and her dog, Cider.


Patty was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, by loving parents, Florence and David Small. The youngest of six, Patty and her siblings had an idyllic childhood, which included summers golfing at the local country club and winters ice skating in Onondaga Park across the street from their home.


Her father had the greatest influence on her as a child. Born in 1883 and an immigrant from Scotland, Patty’s father retired when she was a little girl, allowing for them to have a very close relationship. David was vice president for Walsh Construction Co. and oversaw the building of major infrastructure projects, including the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Grand Coulee Dam. Patty cherished her time with her father, whether it was with the family around the dinner table discussing the Old Testament, or helping him in the garden while he shared stories about visiting the national parks. Her father taught her to appreciate life and learning, and instilled in her a strong moral position and a commitment to serve.


Patty graduated from Marymount College in 1967 with a BA in Economics. After college, she decided to move to San Francisco, inspired by the movie “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen. She began her career with Bank of America as an assistant to several portfolio managers before joining the University of California in 1972.


She served as the treasurer of the Regents of the University of California, and was affiliated with the Treasurer’s Office for more than twenty-eight years. Patty was responsible for the internal management of all equity, fixed income and private equity assets, totaling more than $58 billion; it is regarded as one of the highest-rated institutional funds nationwide. Her investing acumen had such a profound impact on the portfolio many people don’t realize that for almost twenty years University of California employees did not have to contribute into their pension plan because the asset performance was so good.


Patty also served on the UC Retirement System Board for fifteen years, was a director of the emerging markets growth fund at Capital International Inc. for ten years, served a term as a board governor of the CFA Institute, and was an advisory board member of BlackRock’s Private Equity Partners. In addition, she served on the advisory boards of several emerging-market private equity funds. She joined KCM, a money-management investment advisory firm owned with her prior husband, in 2001.


It was not easy for a woman to rise to the level of success Patty achieved, but caring mentors like her predecessor in the Treasurer’s office, Owsley “Bod” Hammond, noticed her work ethic and nurtured her innate skills. Patty loved investing, but she was best known for her integrity and for how much she cared about the beneficiaries of her investments, which amounted to tens of thousands of families over the course of her career.


People who met Patty for only a few minutes could see her strength and vibrancy. She was a mentor to many people who worked for her, and to many of her nieces and nephews, as they embarked on and navigated their own careers. She was also committed to giving back to society. She served on the finance committee of Marin General Hospital and was treasurer of the Hualalai ’Ohana Foundation.


Her only child, Jessica, was the center of her universe. Patty was a devoted fan on the sidelines of Jessica’s soccer games as a child, and she shared her love of traveling with Jessica by taking her along on many business and personal trips across the country and around the world.


Nothing made her happier than the recent birth of her granddaughter. In addition to her family, Patty leaves behind many close friends and neighbors from her homes in Tiburon and in Hualalai, Hawaii.


There will be a memorial service for Patty on Saturday, February 25 at 11 AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Belvedere, CA. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the UCLA Department of Economics at in honor of Patricia Small.



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