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Patricia (McElhatton) Lewis, age 68, of Willow Grove, died peacefully at home, on March 16, 2023, after several long illnesses. And, while Patty worked hard to overcome a multitude of health issues each and every day over several years, she found one positive in all of it, as it gave her a chance to say goodbye to each of her family members whom she loved more than life itself.
Born in Philadelphia, on December 2, 1954, Patty was the daughter of Michael and Marion (Handfinger) McElhatton, who both preceded her in death. And, from the start, whether it was overcoming her fear of heights, while escorted by an entire troop of Girl Scouts, chaperoning her sister’s nosebleed-section seats at the Ice Capades or flying across the country to visit her brother and family in Idaho, Patty’s life was always an adventure!
Patty met and married her high school sweetheart, Joseph, who would have celebrated 45 years of marriage with her this year, and she worked as a hairdresser, babysat and house-cleaned, and ultimately rose through the ranks from furniture salesperson-to-manager almost overnight; but clearly the one job that came so naturally to her was as the most amazing Mother and Grammy to her sons Timothy (Tina), and his son Shawn, and Brian (Erin), and his boys Maverick and Macklin.
Patty loved every minute of raising her family; and she demonstrated this by cooking all their favorite meals each night, attending her grandson’s sports games and yelling the loudest in the crowd, and in taking care of anyone and everyone she met along the way. As a truly empathetic person, Patty often just met people, took their problems on as her own, and could even be heard assuring these “new friends” that she’d get answers for them; and she always came thru. She had no formal training, yet she felt so passionately about helping others that she made things happen.
When her son joined the USMC, Patty didn’t just send him off and hope for the best, she formed a nonprofit organization for parents of Marines, called Mom 4R Marines (later America 4R Marines and then America 4R Veterans); through this group, she sent Christmas stockings to deployed Marines each year, a process that involved using the local middle school cafeteria, where more than 100 people stuffed and packed stockings with much-needed equipment and asking the United States Postal Service to do a Sunday-pick-up as there was so much to send our Marines in the field. When the Marines returned home, she counseled them, found them funding for living arrangements and literally talked them off ledges, using only her life experiences and the knowledge she gained as a mother of two boys. Today, there are a number of young men and women, and their parents, who credit Patty for making the difference that kept them alive.
In addition to those named above, Patty is also survived by her sister Peggy Kunz (Ron) and sons Eric and Ryan; Brother Mike (Terri) and sons Christopher (Kendra) and Andy, Sister-in-law Meg (Scott) Durvin and son Dave (Meghan). She is also survived by her beloved Labradoodle, Freddie, who has been by her side every day and night and Shih Tzu’s Bailey and Cooper. Patty brought a smile and sparkle into the lives of all who knew her, and we will miss her forever.
Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing on Tuesday March 21, 2023 from 9:30am to 10:15am at St. David RC Church, 316 Easton Rd, Willow Grove PA 19090. Funeral Mass to follow at 10:30am.
Interment will be held in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Arrangements by John J. Bryers Funeral Home. www.bryersfh.com