Patricia Findley, 86, of Hesston, Kan., formerly of Lovilia, died Feb. 28, 2013, in her home in Hesston.
Patricia Gray Findley was born to Maretta Forster Gray and William Gray on Nov. 11, 1926, in Albia. On Dec. 10, 1944, Pat married Donald Findley of Lovilia.
She grew up on the family farm near Albia and attended country school. At the age of 11, her father was killed in a tragic wood saw accident. The reality of the accident changed her life dramatically and the shock of it had a lifelong impact. Pat and her mother were forced to sell the family farm and move in with her maternal grandparents. Pat adjusted to a life of few material possessions but lots of love. She graduated from Albia high school and attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines.
Don and Pat lived in Des Moines for the first few months of their marriage where Pat worked as a bookkeeper and Don worked for Iowa Pack. Small towns and the urge to farm were too great. and they returned to the Albia area and began farming. Starting with 75 acres. they eventually grew their farming operation to several hundred acres. Pat was as integral a part of the farming operation as was Don. When Don died suddenly in 1985, Pat, age 58 at the time, took on the farming operation by herself and continued to operate the farm until 2002.
In 2002, Pat moved to Hesston, Kan., to be near her daughter, Billie Christine Roth “Chris” and all Pat’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren who represented Pat’s entire blood family. She remained in the house she purchased then until her death and was granted her wish to die in her own home.
Pat was involved in many other activities outside of farming. Pat and Don were avid square dancers and wherever a square dance could be found, chances were good that Don and Pat would be there and that Don would be calling the dance. When Don died, Pat continued to square dance and became a caller herself and member of the Central Iowa Caller’s Association.
Pat was a member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and later the United Methodist Church when those two groups merged. She served as both district and state treasurer for the United Methodist Women for several years. She was named to the Monroe County Farm Bureau Ag Hall of Fame in 2001 and served for 11 years as a Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation Commissioner. In her later years, she served as a volunteer at the Hesston Resource Center as well as numerous other church and civic groups.
Pat is survived by her daughter, Chris (Jim) Roth of Hesston; four grandchildren, Renee (Jon) Ewert and Derek (Kris) Roth, both of Hesston, Ryan (Regina) Roth of Golden, Colo., and Brandon Roth of Manhattan, Kan.; and nine great-grandchildren, Titus, Kayla and Angela Ewert of Hesston, Benjamin, Lucas, Elijah and Josiah Roth, of Hesston, and Wendy and Jenny Roth of Golden, Colo.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Donald Albert Findley, and her parents.
Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. at Osborne Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Lovilia Methodist Church.