Patsy was born In Pala, and attended Maul High. In her Junior year, she ran for student body president, something unheard of at that time. A month before the election, Pearl Harbor was attacked. To overcome discrimination over her Japanese ancestry, she devised strategies to earn the trust of the students. Her strategies worked and she won the election. She was also her class valedictorian in 1944.

She moved to O’ahu and attended the University of Hawai’i. She later transferred to University of Nebraska where she once again faced discrimination where racial segregation was a matter of policy. She and her coalition successfully lobbied to end the university’s segregation policies.

She returned University of Hawai’i and received a BA In Zoology and Chemistry. She applied to 20 medical schools but none accepted women. She then decided to attend law school at the University of Chicago and graduated in 1951.

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