Patricia (Pat) Neznik, Staples, died at her home the evening of May 20th, days away from her 83rd birthday. Her passing was peaceful, as she left for heaven while her family recited The Lord’s Prayer over her.
Pat was born June 2nd, 1939 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Henry and Carmelleta Ahrens, and the fourth of five children. Pat’s family moved several times during her early childhood before settling in Staples in the mid-1950’s. A part of the Class of ‘57 (although she didn’t graduate with her class, Pat proudly completed her GED later in life), Pat spent her working years at the Carter Ringer coat factory, Old National Foods, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Stern Rubber Company, before finishing her working years at Woodland Good Samaritan Society. It’s worth noting she did make a career comeback at Tower Pizza at the age of 82, where she sure did enjoy her tip money. She never quite figured out the cash register, but that’s a story for another time.
Pat met her husband, Thomas Neznik, in Staples in 1974. Theirs was a relationship into which Pat brought her five children. Pat and Tom had one child together. She had 14 grandchildren, all of whom she doted on whenever possible. She also had one great-grandson and two great-granddaughters, with another due in July and one in August. Pat was certainly looking forward to meeting those young ladies.
Pat enjoyed her flower gardens, card games (Hand & Foot was a recent favorite), connecting with folks online (she was pretty proud to get up to speed with the social media experience), and taking random trips to Brainerd to shop and visit family. She did a good amount of traveling later in life, which she enjoyed very much. She also enjoyed her ‘night life’ while chasing her youngest son’s various bands to bars all over the state. We could tell you this is when she fell in love with rum & Coke, but some of you know that particular love affair started years earlier.
Lots of folks will miss Pat. They include Tom, her husband of 47 years, and her six children: Karla (Jerry Swenson) Greenwaldt, Jamie (Carol) Kujawa, Dianna (Richard) Perry, Jody (Jim) Elwell, Carmella (Bert) Wimer, and Eric (Alissa) Neznik. She is also survived by her sister Donna Mae, 13 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and several in-laws. Holly and Eddie (the Nezniks’ cats) will also be lost for some time without Pat. Don’t tell Holly, but Eddie was her favorite.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Dennis and Henry, sister Rene, grandson Jamin, and too many friends and in-laws to mention.
A casual wake to celebrate Pat’s life will be held at Brenny Funeral Chapel in Staples on Wednesday, May 25th from 4-7pm. A funeral service will occur at Faith Lutheran Church in Staples on Thursday the 26th at 11am, with a visitation beginning one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Staples.