Patricia J. Prince
Jun 10th 1954 - Nov 1st 2006
Pat Prince was a woman so full of love and emotion it welled up like a spring inside her, waiting to burst out, and shower affection on those around her. She loved so many things in this world, fully, madly, and deeply, an uncommon love from an amazing lady. She was a devoted wife, doting mother and grandmother, and a woman whose love still touches her family today.
Pat's story began on a warm summer day in 1954, in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Those were amazing times in this country, as we entered the Nuclear Age, and the Cold War raged. The Space Race pushed us to reach higher, beyond our terrestrial surroundings, as we looked toward the heavens with hope and anticipation. In this little corner of the globe, Nicholas and Phyllis Van Andel had their own reasons for hope and anticipation that June, as they celebrated the birth of a beautiful baby girl on June 10 at Blodgett Hospital. The little girl they named Patricia weighed a whopping 8 pounds, 10 ounces!
Pat joined older brother Steven in the family home, which was filled with so much love thanks to their new, very happy baby girl. The family lived on Quimby at first, before moving to Columbia NE, where they stayed many years.
Pat loved school growing up, and even played "school," with her friends, where she was of course the teacher. She attended Creston Christian Elementary and later Grand Rapids Christian High School, where she was a popular girl, a pretty cheerleader and very social. She also displayed her innate musical gifts, and sang both alto and soprano with the Madrigals choir in school. She took piano lessons as a young girl, and played beautifully, as well.
Pat dated a young man named Mark Worst all through high school, after meeting at a Burton Heights hymn sing. After their first kiss, she asked him if her braces got in the way, and he said, "I don't know, let's try it again!"
Pat graduated from high school in 1972, and four years later, she and Mark were married, on August 20, 1976, at East Leonard Christian Reformed Church. The newlyweds honeymooned at the Hardy Dam, but hurried home to their new house on Grand River Avenue.
It wasn't long before the new wife and husband became mother and father, as well, with their children Scott, Jeffrey, David, Mike and Amy blessing their lives in the coming years. Pat was particularly pleased when Amy came along, giving her a baby girl.
Being a mother made Pat feel complete, and was her true calling. She was a wonderful mother, a fun mother, who could be over the top with her affection and her attention. She had so much love to share, though. She was involved in everything in her kids' lives, and it almost seemed as though she loved them too much!
The family did much together growing up, though. They went camping at Lake Mitchell in Cadillac for many years each Labor Day, and had a memorable trip to Toronto, where Pat made the kids all wear hot pink T-shirts so they wouldn't get lost! Pat was also a lifelong bowler, and the kids would always plan their sick days for Wednesdays, so they could go to the alley with Mom and have a donut. Pat loved to brag about her bowling skills, even though the reality was a bit more humbling. She didn't care if she was good at something or not, though, she enjoyed the experience all the same. She was never very good at board games, but she loved playing as much as anyone. She just loved her family deeply, and being around them.
Pat also loved celebrating with her family, and holidays and birthdays were an excuse for her to go overboard with the presents and decorations. She always made their favorite dinner and cake on their birthday, and she decorated the house at every single holiday. She loved decorating so much, in fact, she took a part-time job at Flowers of the Field.
She also wanted her kids to love each other, and to be friends, which they are today. As they got older, she remained very involved in their lives, and her top concern was for their happiness. She always asked them if they were happy. She also could be a bit nosy about their lives, when her "Killer Pat," alter ego arrived, as that wellspring of love for her kids bubbled to the surface. They'd just mention she was being "Killer Pat," and it always brought her back to earth.
When her grandson arrived, it was the crowning moment for Pat, who just adored kids of all kinds. Every Tuesday night she baby-sat little Blake, which was so special for her. She wasn't afraid to be her natural silly, goofy self around him, and he called her "MeMe," which is French for Grandma. She often gave cherished advice to her son on parenting.
Pat's marriage to Mark eventually ended in divorce, but she wasn't destined to remain alone. She had far too much love in her heart for one person. One day in 2001 she met a wonderful man named Dave Prince, at church choir. He was taken with this vivacious, fun-loving woman with the beautiful voice, and they soon began dating. The two were married on June 24, 2005, at the Cascade Township Court House, in a casual ceremony. It was a very hot day, and they both wore beach clothes, perfect for Pat, who loved summertime, and loved being in the sun by the pool.
Pat loved so many things, though, with so much love welled up inside her. She loved being the life of the party, and would look around to see if someone was having more fun that she was. She didn't mind cooking, but she loved to eat out, especially at Great Lakes Shipping Company (but she never, ever ate her vegetables, and never made her kids eat them, either!). She loved reading fiction or inspirational books, and enjoyed country music or gospel. She would cry tears of happiness every time she listened to Dámaris Carbaugh, her favorite vocalist. It didn't take much to make Pat cry, though, with all that emotion and love inside her.
Pat took a job at the Calvin College bookstore in 2001, a job she loved for the interaction with the students. Sadly, Pat died suddenly of a heart attack at work on Wednesday, November 1, 2006.
Pat was a remarkable woman, a woman so full of personality, love and emotion. She was honest, she was outgoing, and she was a woman of great faith. Her love was a wellspring inside her, waiting to burst out, and shower all those around her. Today her great love, and her life, lives on in all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Pat was preceded in death by her infant son, Jeffrey Joel. Pat is survived by her husband, Dave Prince; her children, Scott (Cindy) Worst and their son, Blake, David Worst, Mike (Amanda) Worst, Amy Worst; and their father, Mark Worst; step-children, Jason Prince and Rachael Prince; parents, Nicholas (Phyllis) Van Andel; and brother, Steven (Traci) Van Andel. Pat had a deep love for life, church and most of all, her family. She lived each day as though it was her last. The Celebration of Life service will be held at 1 P.M on Sunday, November 5, 2006 at the Chapel of Calvin College. Friends may meet her family tonight from 7-9 P.M. and on Saturday from 2-4 P.M. and 7-9 P.M. at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes - Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W. Interment in Blythefield Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions to the Christian Learning Center would be appreciated. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Pat's Life Story, archive a memory of photo or sign the guestbook.