Mary B. Pattishall
Mary B. Pattishall, age 93, passed away on November 12, 2011 at Prospect Park Skilled Nursing Facility in Estes Park, CO. She had moved into a condominium at Eagle’s Landing to be close to her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter, all residents of Estes Park. She lived there for what ended up being the last year of her life until she entered PPLC as a hospice patient about two weeks prior to her death.
Mary B. Usher was born on August 16, 1918 in Summerfield, Kansas to Frank Usher, Sr. and Susan A. (Doyle) Usher. She was the youngest of seven children. After graduating from high school, Mary taught “country school” in her hometown area for some time, and often told about the day when she had killed a rattlesnake with a shovel (on the school porch) to protect her students. Mary moved to Wichita, KS, during World War II, and supported the war effort by working at Boeing Aircraft as an inspector of the rivets on airplanes. She then moved to Chicago, IL with her two best friends, where Mary met Leonard J. Pattishall, whom she married on April 24, 1947. They both were employed and lived in Chicago at that time; he as an accountant and she in an insurance office.
Their daughter, Robin, was born on November 27, 1951 and the family moved to the town of Carpentersville, IL, about 45 miles northwest of Chicago, in 1954, in order not to raise their child in the city. Mary began teaching school again at the local community youth center (all ages of children) until she was given a job teaching first grade at the new Fairview Grade School, less than a block away from their home, and where she ultimately taught school until her retirement. Mary was tenacious and determined in everything she undertook. When Mary started teaching at the grade school, no college degree was required; however, when it did become a requirement for all teachers, she went to college nights and weekends (while continuing to teach) for seven years until she graduated from Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago. She and her family were very proud of this accomplishment. Mary loved teaching and genuinely cared about each of her students progress.
In 1978, Mary and Leonard sold their home and moved to Westminster, CO in anticipation of their daughter’s family returning to Estes Park, CO. Mary started a part-time job as a clerk in a pharmacy in Denver, but after being robbed there a few times by gun-wielding thieves, she decided to retire from the work force completely.
Leonard J. Pattishall died June 2, 1984 from cardiac arrest at the age of 63. They had been married for 37 years. In time, after grieving the loss of her husband, Mary started going to dances at various senior centers in the Denver area. She had always loved to dance, and consequently, she went dancing three times a week until she was about 85, when her extraordinary vitality seemed to begin to ebb. Mary lived in the Denver area for 27 years and then undertook a move back to Wymore, NE in order to spend more time with her brother, Charles Usher, who unfortunately passed away within two years of her return.
She remained there for three more years, but when a small stroke resulted in almost two months of rehabilitation, she decided to move back to Colorado. Her granddaughter, Brooke, and her husband, Josh Henderson, drove out and helped move her to Estes Park. Mary did well, in spite of some falls, (one resulting in a broken shoulder) but seemed to recuperate quickly, as was usual for her, until the diagnosis of cancer this fall proved to be insurmountable for someone of her age. Mary enjoyed very much getting to know McKenna, her great-granddaughter, over this last year in Estes, and the feeling was mutual.
The family would like to thank all of those from the Estes Park Hospice and the employees of PPLC who treated our loved one with kindness and respect after she was diagnosed with inoperable cancer this past fall. Dr. Norris, Fiona Cahill and her daughter, Katrina, as well as Brenda Fox (hospice chaplain), and Lincare deserve special thanks for their help throughout this trying time for our family.
Memorial Services have been postponed until after the first of the year when Mary’s cremated remains will be interred with her husband’s at Ft. Logan National Cemetery. Family and friends will be notified once a date has been chosen. Mary B. Pattishall is survived by her daughter, Robin R. Pattishall, her granddaughter, Brooke Henderson, and her great-granddaughter, McKenna Henderson, all residents of Estes Park.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Visit www.allnutt.com to send a message to Mary’s family.