Patricia Neuberger (b. 1947)
Patricia Neuberger’s father, Gerson "Gert" was born September 27, 1914 in Germany on his parents’ livestock farm. Her mother, Erna, was born September 15, 1914 in Vienna and worked as a seamstress at a woman’s clothing store. Gert immigrated to Baker, Oregon in 1934 when he was about 20 years old, although Neubergers had been in Baker since the Gold Rush. Gert and one of his brothers, either Bert or Hans, started a furniture store in 1940. He became a citizen in the same year and was drafted into the military two years later. He met Erna while in the US service in London. They married on January 15, 1944 and came to Baker on May 15, 1946. Patricia was born August 14, 1947 in Baker. Her sister, Roselyn, was born in 1949 and her brother, Robert, in 1953.
The Neuberger family were the only Jews among the eight to ten thousand people in Baker when Patricia was growing up. The family kept kosher, observed the Sabbath, and closed the furniture store on the high holidays days. Gert made a point of distancing himself from his German roots: they never spoke German in the home and he gave his children American names.
Patricia and her siblings went to public schools in Baker. She then went to attend Oregon State Pharmacy School, a five year program. She had always liked science and a family friend was one of the first women to graduate from pharmacy school at Oregon State. Neither of her parents had gone to college and encouraged their kids to do so, and Patricia was the first Neuberger woman to graduate from college.
After pharmacy school, Patricia worked at a pharmacy in The Dalles, Oregon; she got the job when the man who held it was drafted. She came to Portland in 1972 and worked at the pharmacy in the Lloyd center. She then went on to work at Economy Drug, a pharmacy owned by Ben Watkins, her future husband.