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Life Story / Obituary
With unending devotion to her family and friends, Patricia Meeuwsen was a blessing in the lives of so many. She was guided by an unwavering faith, and much of her life was devoted to serving others in ways both great and small. Pat was a loving wife and mother, and there was nothing she loved more than being surrounded by her loved ones. She loved traveling and could find the beauty in even the simplest of things. Life will never be the same without Pat here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were called to serve in WWII. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods like rubber, sugar, canned goods, and paper. It was during this eventful time that Patricia A. was born to Lewis and Beatrice (Dedert) Dahnke on July 26, 1943, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Raised by her mother and grandmother, she lived on the West Side of the city.
In many ways Pat was a typical young girl of her generation. Her mother was a member of Broadway Christian Reformed Church, which later became the Westview Christian Reformed Church, and this is where Pat regularly attended church, Sunday school, and catechism classes. As a young girl she learned the fundamentals of the Christian faith that sustained her through the peaks and valleys throughout her entire life. Pat attended Westside Christian School through the 8th grade and then went on to Christian High School. After graduating in 1961, Pat went to work for the Kent County Probate Court.
Not to be forgotten during Pat’s years as a young woman was her introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Ron Meeuwsen, and they met while driving around downtown, which was a popular thing at the time. They struck up a conversation, and their short conversations later gave way to a blossoming romance. What was interesting is that Pat’s family never had a car until she bought one after she started working, and for this reason driving around downtown was a treat. Pat and Ron fell in love, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together they were married on November 30, 1962, at Westview Christian Reformed Church. Since Pat’s family never traveled, she was thrilled with the two week honeymoon the newlyweds took to Florida.
Initially, the couple lived at a home Ron's parents owned on Aberdeen, NE. Soon, they moved to a home on Bird, NE. While living there, they welcomed their two sons, Kendal and Jeff, into their hearts and home. When they later moved into a new home in Whispering Pines, they completed their family with the birth of their daughter, Tricia. From the time her first son was born Pat had left her job with the court to become a full-time loving and devoted wife and mother. She and Ron enjoyed traveling and camping with their family using their travel trailer. They traveled to many places in the United States, visiting the West Coast, traveling around Lake Superior, and seeing many other places. Pat never tired of traveling. She also looked forward to visits at her son’s home on Lake Michigan, which is where some of their favorite family gatherings took place.
In addition to caring for her home and family, Pat kept busy with other things. She frequently volunteered at church including founding and managing the library at Riverside CRC, serving as a Calvinette counselor, and helping to plan and decorate for countless events. Pat was both an employee and a volunteer at the Christian Rest Home and Edison Manor, where she was sure to inspire a smile by leading social activities while wearing a clown nose. Since a dream of Pat’s had always been to go to college, she went later in life as she had married instead of going to college as a young woman. Pat was also an avid reader who liked doing crossword puzzles, Sudoko, and any other games that involved words. She liked watching television and was able to answer numerous trivia questions on various game shows. Holidays were always her favorite time of the year, and she looked forward to celebrating them with friends and loved ones every year. Pat’s quietly vibrant and generous spirit shone through in the handmade gifts and decorations shared with family, lifelong friends, and those in need. As time went on, Pat had to slow down some as she became diabetic and eventually needed dialysis treatments three days a week for what became a six-and-a-half year experience. Because of this she was confined to her home much more than she would have liked.
Bright, witty, and creative, Patricia Meeuwsen was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She loved nothing more than using her time and talents to improve the lives of others, especially children and seniors. Pat’s love for her family was unmatched, and she treasured each and every moment spent with loved ones. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Patricia A. (Dahnke) Meeuwsen, aged 75, passed away peacefully at home on December 26, 2018. Pat is survived by her husband of 56 years, Ronald, and children, Kendall, Jeffrey, and Tricia. A funeral service will be held on Saturday January 5, 2019 at 2 P.M. at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien – Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield N.E. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family Saturday from 1 P.M. until the time of the funeral service and following during a time of fellowship and refreshments. For those who wish memorial contributions to the Make a Wish Foundation would be appreciated. To read more of Pat’s life, sign the online register book or leave a memory please visit www.lifestorynet.com