UnNews:Peppermint Patty, dead at age 49
17 September 2008
Hollywood, CA -- Patricia Reichardt, fondly known as "Peppermint Patty" in the Peanuts comic strip, died today from complications related to ink poisoning. She was born October 4, 1958 and was 49 years old at the time of death.
She was the second such character from the beloved Peanuts comic strip to fall to ink poisoning. The first, ironically, was her best friend Violet Gray, who preceded her in 1997. Ink poisoning is the second most common cause of death to comic strip characters, and to this date has only affected those who were drawn pre-1973, when the FDA banned the use of Black Dye #23.
Patty's family history is largely unknown. She was raised by her father and was generally considered a happy child, despite the chiding she took from her peers from her bulbous nose. Into her late teens she was purported to be involved in a romantic relationship with a boy from her town nicknamed "Pig Pen." Although her academic performance was anything but stellar, Patty attended University of California at Berkley on an athletic scholarship. At Berkley, she embraced not only a liberal philosophy but her lesbian sexuality. From 1982-1986, she was romantically involved with childhood friend Marcie. The cause of that separation was not known, but abuse was suspected. Hospital records document that Marcie had been seen four time for bone breaks and contusions during their three and one-half year period of cohabitation.
When her childhood pal, Charles "Charlie" Brown, was told about her death, he appeared shocked. Asked if the death would affect him harshly, or if he could be at peace with her loss, he commented, "Good grief." Charlie is currently recovering from hair plug surgery, but has received permission from his physician to attend services for Patricia.
The memorial service for Patricia will be held in the auditorium of her childhood school. Ironically, that stage has been attributed to the origin of the now infamous "Shoulder Shrug" dance, first introduced in 1965 during a Christmas program. The services will be delayed until next Tuesday in order that renowned concert pianist and lifetime friend Schroeder, currently on tour in Italy, can attend the services. He is currently working on a program of tunes for that event that will include selections from Beethoven, Handel, and Randy Newman.
- Grace Billings "Bittersweet Farewells for Peppermint Patty" Comic Strip Aficionado Daily, September 17, 2008
- Felicity Graham "Marcie and Patty, Sitting in a Tree" Lesbian Life, February 9, 1983