EUGENE, Ore. - Patricia (Pat) Konopatzke, 78, of Eugene, Ore., and formerly of Havre, died Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, at OHSU in Portland, Ore., surrounded by her children and grandchildren after a brave fight against ovarian cancer.
A memorial service was held Nov. 20 at Bethesda Lutheran in Eugene with inurnment of ashes at the Veteran's Cemetery in Portland on Nov. 21.
Pat was born in South Shields, England, on Oct. 13, 1927. Her dad died when she was 4 years old. When World War II broke out, Pat's mom moved her to London, where she believed it would be safer. Pat's mother died when Pat was 13 years old, leaving her to be raised by two aunts. She spent most of her youth in a boarding school south of London.
During the war, Pat was a secretary in London. One of her jobs was to watch for German planes from the top of the office building. Her warning sent the rest of the employees to the bomb shelters. In 1944, Pat was invited to a baptism in Horham, England. It was there that she met a young American soldier, Leo Konopatzke. They were married on May 12, 1945. Leo was shipped back to the U.S., and later Pat was given permission to join her new husband. She landed in New York City on V-J Day.
Leo and Pat made their home and raised their three children in Havre. Pat worked as a church secretary at St. Paul's Lutheran. Later she became the secretary for the superintendent of schools and then became an assistant to the librarian at Havre High School.
The family was active at St. Paul's Lutheran in Havre. Pat was an active member of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. As their international secretary, she traveled to many cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In 1970, Pat enrolled at Northern Montana College. She received her bachelor's degree in 1974. With determination, Pat moved to Eugene, Ore., where she received her master's degree in library science at the University of Oregon in 1976. After he retired, Leo joined her in Eugene, and Pat started working for the Elmira School District. She retired in 1995.
Both Leo and Pat loved to play golf and were members of Shadow Hills since 1977. Pat enjoyed traveling, and she and Leo were able to return to England and visit the church where they were married. Pat was able to make a number of other trips back to England, frequently accompanied by her son-in-law, Jim Krening, as they led various tour groups. She also made a trip to Russia with her Bethesda friends. Pat was instrumental in opening the library at Bethesda Lutheran. She also was a member of the Chancel Choir, and participated in many classes and events.
Pat was an avid reader and gardener. She hosted the Bethesda Garden Tour in 2004, showing off her lovely fountains and flowers. Her family remembers her as a generous person whose family - children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were extraordinarily important to her. They and the church were at the center of her life. She was very proud that all three of her children are college graduates. Pat was a bold spirit and independent. The adjectives that best describe her are courageous, determined, responsible and generous.
Survivors include her children, Ruth (James) Krening of Portland,; Sandra (Gary) Staudinger of Meridian, Idaho; and son, Dennis (Jeanie) Konopatzke of Whitefish; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were under the direction of Crown Memorial Center of Milwaukie, Ore.
Memorials can be sent to Bethesda Lutheran Library, 4445 Royal Avenue, Eugene, OR 97402, or OHSU, Women's Health Center, Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research, 3181 S. W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR. 9723.