Patricia Ann James obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Patricia Ann James

April 10, 1932 - May 15, 2017

Obituary


Mom was born in 1932, during the depth of the Great Depression. Life was hard. Her big brother, Uncle Richard, once told me a story about how Grandma used to bake a pie for dessert. He was the third child. He noticed that as more children were born, they each got a smaller piece of the pie . . . . until Mom. . . . Then, Grandma made two pies. :) I guess he thought Mom was OK! She eventually followed in his footsteps by attending Waynesburg University, in PA. Later, she went to...

Mom was born in 1932, during the depth of the Great Depression. Life was hard. Her big brother, Uncle Richard, once told me a story about how Grandma used to bake a pie for dessert. He was the third child. He noticed that as more children were born, they each got a smaller piece of the pie . . . . until Mom. . . . Then, Grandma made two pies. :) I guess he thought Mom was OK! She eventually followed in his footsteps by attending Waynesburg University, in PA. Later, she went to West Virginia University, where she met and married my dad, and where I was born. They were married fifty-one years before he died on May 11, 2007.
Mom was a strong-willed perfectionist. She expected only the best from herself and everyone else. I remember the story of how she quit smoking cigarettes, back in the early 1960s. She sat down to read a magazine, and lit a cigarette. She read an article about smoking being unhealthy. She put out her cigarette. PERIOD. She had quit.
She raised me Catholic, with very little help from Dad, who did not become Catholic until he was in his sixties. After I married Forrest, he converted to Catholicism, and little by little, other members of his family converted, as well. I give her credit for making me a strong Catholic, leading to their conversions.
Mom was strong-willed. Despite serious eye issues, which made it very difficult for her to read, she earned a Master's Degree in chemistry. Although she didn't really use her degree in the normal sense, she could out-think almost anyone; and she remembered everything she heard or read . . . until she didn't. . . . . .It was painful for me to watch my brilliant mother disappear, and I was sad that her caregivers never knew the "real Pat".
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have been getting emails from people I haven't heard from in ages. It has been enlightening to see her through the eyes of others. My cousins have made comments like, "she was energetic, smiley, happy, cheerful, young, and cute"; and they wrote about how she listened and was genuinely interested in what they said; and how she was one of the few adults who spoke to the kids as individuals, not just one of many random nieces --- she could even tell the identical twins apart!
I was touched, during the last days of her life, as she lay bed-ridden in her room at the Meridian, as one by one, nurses, nursing assistants, and others came by to say goodbye to her and to thank her for letting them take care of her. She was truly loved! For that, I am eternally grateful.
I take comfort in the belief that she is now whole - mentally and physically, and is in heaven with friends, loved-ones, and, most importantly, with God.
Rest in peace, Mummy! I love you!


Arrangements under the direction of Olinger Hampden Mortuary & Cemetery, Denver, CO.