Life Story / Obituary
Easy going and kind beyond measure, Patricia Graverson was a loving wife, mother, and friend to many. She wanted nothing more than the very best for her growing family and would do anything for anyone in need. Known for her talents around the house, Patricia catered to all those who gathered in her home. Guests were normally served her fresh baked goods or anything she could whip up at a last minute’s notice! Sadly, she is gone yet the memories she leaves behind will surely touch the lives of her many special loved ones and friends for generations to come.
In the year 1939, Lou Gehrig retired from the New York Yankees, the much-loved classic film, The Wizard of Oz held its Hollywood premiere, and the first commercial air flight crossed the Atlantic Ocean. On May 29th of that same year, Adolf and Theresa (Roberts) Steil welcomed home their first daughter, Patricia Ann. She was the third child of what eventually grew to include twelve children. Her birth brought much happiness to the family home.
Patricia lived a typical childhood of the times where she was known to care for her younger siblings and pitch in around the house. Growing up primarily on the northside of town, she developed a steady level of responsibility supporting her family as well as working hard on her studies. She earned her high school diploma through Godwin High School before setting out into the world of work. It wasn’t long, however, that she was swept off her feet by Edward Heyboer, a co-worker of her brother. Smitten from the very start, the happy couple wasted little time and joined in marriage at the West Leonard Christian Reformed Church when Patricia was the tender age of eighteen. The newlyweds settled into their first home on Leonard Street near Alpine and eventually welcomed the first three of their four wonderful children into their family. Later, while living in Standale on Thomas Street, their fourth and final child completed their family.
As a mother, Patricia was exceptionally nurturing and took great pride in managing the family household. Known for her tidy home and crisp, clean folded laundry piles, Patricia found her heart content in her duties as a wife and mother. Over the years, she perfected many recipes and took a real interest in baking. The family never turned down a sample of her freshly baked lemon meringue pie as well as her cookies, pies, and homemade banana bread. Her home was a welcoming place for many including many of her younger siblings over the years. Whenever they needed a place to stay before finding their place in the world, they knew that Patricia would take them in and help to prepare them for the future ahead. This often included ensuring they had school clothes and home-cooked meals when they returned at the end of a long day. Any time she was giving some of her time or resources to those in need, Patricia was satisfied. She wanted nothing more than to be needed.
Thanks to Ed, Patricia gained the confidence needed to socialize and entertain over their years together. They enjoyed hosting countless parties including block parties and their annual Christmas party in their basement. As a family, they enjoyed spending time at her sister’s place on Pettibone Lake. Several of the Steil siblings and their families would join as well guaranteeing a good time and many memory-making moments. All of the cousins grew up together swimming, fishing, and catching frogs together! Patricia was known to fry up the frog legs during these family gatherings for all to enjoy! Her life changed dramatically when her marriage to Ed ended in divorce. After a few bumps in the road, she took a job managing the Dairy Queen where she lived nearby. With her resourcefulness, she was able to live simply and make ends meet.
Although her life was full and enjoyable, it was not without its trials. Patricia’s hard-working and resilient attitude helped her to overcome many challenges yet nothing prepared her for the loss of her daughter, Catherine, in 1995. Patricia tenderly cared for her during her struggle with cancer until nearly the very end. Losing a child was indeed a tough time for Patricia and she leaned on her many friends and family to help her through the years ahead. When the time was right, Patricia met Charlie Miller who became a wonderful companion. With nothing to lose, she joined Charlie on his move to Carrollton, Georgia for his job. Although it was extremely difficult for her to leave her children and grandchildren, she welcomed a new start with her usual bright and positive outlook. Many of their Michigan relatives came to visit and enjoy the warmer temperatures and their backyard pool. These years seemed to fly by as her family continued to grow.
As her own health began to decline as a result of back issues and early stages of memory loss, they chose to move back to Michigan to be near family. Charlie took the very best of care of her until she moved into the senior living community of Samaritas. Each and every Tuesday, her daughter, Susan would take her out to visit her sister, Sue and enjoy a delicious potluck together. These moments were special to Patricia and she looked forward to their quality time together. Often quite fitting, before they would end their time together, they would sing a few verses of their favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross together. Optimistic and grateful, Patricia lived her life as an example of making the most of life. She never complained and selflessly gave so much of herself to others over the years. May her family never doubt the love she had for each and every one of them and may they find comfort in sharing stories from the many years they were together.
Patricia Ann (nee Steil) Graverson, daughter of Adolf Albert and Theresa Steil, age 80, was called home to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the early hours of December 30, 2019, where she was reunited with many loved ones including her daughter Catherine Heyboer; her beloved partner Charles Miller; and brothers; Skip Steil, Glenn Steil, Marvin Boogaard “and don’t forget about” Richard Steil. Pat is survived by her loving children; Susan (Greg) Graverson, John Heyboer (Amanda), Edward Heyboer; grandchildren Cassie (Paul) Jarosz, Tyler Graverson, Johnny Heyboer, Marissa (Matt) Watkoski, Morgan Heyboer; brothers and sisters; Evelyn Cronk, Ada Howell, Susan Steil, Mike (Lynn) Steil, Diane (Noverto) Maltos, Mary (Denny) Linington, Carol Thompson, and Steven Boogaard; as well as several nieces and nephews. She will always be remembered by her kind and loving nature. She was a loving mother and always wanted to help her loved ones however she could. The service to remember and celebrate Pat’s life will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2019, at 3 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW where friends may visit with her family from 2 PM until the service. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.