Dear Siblings in Christ,
I pray that you and your loved ones are well.
This coming Saturday 18th March 2023 we are invited to join with the family and friends of our beloved Pat Howse. Visitation at 10am and Rite of Christian Burial service at 11am.
Fr. Samuel K. Ndungu
Obituary for Winifred Mary “Pat” Howse
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Pat Howse’s passing. She died peacefully in her sleep Christmas night after having spent a week visiting with her children and grandchildren. Christmas day was a happy one spent with close family for a traditional brunch; a happy memory with plenty of photos taken.
She was born Winifred Mary Pattison on May 10, 1928 to Robert and Winifred Pattison. She was raised in Paoli, Pennsylvania with her three older brothers, Robert, Joseph, and Thomas. Pat’s paternal grandfather was two-term Pennsylvania Governor Robert E. Pattison, Sr.
Pat was known by many other names throughout her life: Aunt Mary, Mom, Granny, and even Rusty for her red hair, but she started out as Mary. When little Mary entered first grade, there were four other girls with the same name in her class. At this point she decided she would be called Pat, short for Pattison.
As a self-declared “tom-boy,” Pat could always be found tagging along with her brother, Joe, who taught her to swim and play baseball and football. In high school, she played many sports and was an avid roller-skater. Pat was also a life-time Girl Scout. Beginning at age 10, she attended Camp Tweedale every summer and later worked as a counselor there. She volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader after she was married.
In 1946, Pat graduated from Tredyffrin-Easttown (now Conestoga) High School and went on to study physical education at Ursinus College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. Pat had many close friends throughout her life but was always closest to her college friends, especially her roommates. She made yearly trips to the Jersey Shore with them until they were in their nineties.
Pat met her future husband, Phil, on a blind date while still in high school. After Phil joined the army near the end of World War II, they continued to correspond while he was stationed in Germany. They married on March 17, 1951, started a family, and had a loving partnership until Phil’s passing in 2019.
In addition to raising three boys, Pat taught Physical Education at Kimberton Farms School and coached girls field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. She was an avid golfer and, together with Phil, played many rounds at their beloved Aronomink Golf Club as well as around the world on many of their frequent trips abroad. She was even crowned the Aronomink Women’s Golf Champion one year!
Phil and Pat actively participated in the church life at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville, hosting many church picnics at their home surrounded by Pat’s extensive gardens, a koi pond, and a backyard pool where Pat taught swimming lessons. Even up to 2022, Pat taught swimming at the Shannondell pool helping her minister overcome his hesitancy in the water. Her specialty was beginners and adults who had never learned to swim.
An active volunteer throughout her life, Pat was a docent at the Diamond Rock (Octagonal) School House on Diamond Rock Mountain. She could also be found at the Phoenixville Hospital’s Thrift Store or teaching Special Needs groups the art of flower arranging.
While an avid reader, seamstress, and cook, gardening and traveling were her true passions. She inherited a love of gardening from her mother and followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming an active member of the Twin Valley Garden Club. She worked hard on her own gardens at their house on Kleyona Avenue which was featured on Garden Club tours. When Pat moved to Shannondell, in addition to having several plots in Shannondell’s Community Garden, Pat expanded the landscape in front of their apartment and created a beautiful garden oasis which many butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as people, greatly appreciated.
Pat’s many travels brought her to six out of the seven continents. She never did make it to Antarctica although she got pretty close when visiting Tierra del Fuego in her 80s. Since Pat’s enthusiasm for travel surpassed Phil’s, who preferred small cruises, she relied on her girlfriends’ company for the more adventurous trips. For example, after her 80th birthday she and a friend took a trip to India where she rode on an elephant while looking for tigers in the jungle. She alone took individual grandchildren on a “grandkid” adventure: to Hawaii, down the Colorado River, to San Diego, and to Brazil to go down the Amazon River.
Of all of the places to which Pat traveled, Barbados was her favorite home away from home. She and Phil went for their 25th wedding anniversary and kept returning for forty consecutive years to the same spot – Payne’s Bay. They were seen as members of the community there and of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where they befriended many Bajans whom Pat held dear in her heart. In 2018, at the age of 90, Pat and Phil made what was to be their last trip to Barbados to see their Bajan friends.
Friends and family were Pat’s most valuable treasures. She is survived by her three sons: Chase (wife Becky, son Sam and daughter Phoebe), Tom (son Ben and daughter Leah) and Daniel (wife Chris, daughter Sydney and son Jake), many nieces, nephews, as well as grand nieces and nephews.
Our family is most grateful for the friends who looked out for Pat while she lived at Shannondell these past 11 years. Her family will host a small private memorial service there for Shannondell friends and close family on January 7th at 11:00 in the card room of the Ashcroft Clubhouse.
Relatives and friends are all invited to attend the celebration of her life at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 121 Church Street, Phoenixville, on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 11:00 am. Friends and family will be received from 10:00 am – 11:00 am at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Capital Campaign, 121 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460, https://saintpeterschurch.net/donate-to-st-peters/ or the Phoenixville Library, 183 2nd Avenue, Phoenixville, PA 19460 https://phoenixvillelibrary.org/donate-online/
Arrangements are being handled by the Campbell-Ennis-Klotzbach Funeral Home, Inc. Condolences may be offered online at www.PhoenixvilleFuneralHome.com.