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Alzheimer's Association SE Wisc
620 S. 76th St #160
Milwaukee, WI 53214
Life Story / Obituary
Patricia Ann Piwaron was an exceptional woman whose roots went deep and interests spread wide. She was curious, passionate and far-sighted. Because of her proud history, she stayed current with events of the day and saw the impact they could have for generations to come. For Pat, part of being a loving wife, mother and grandmother was instilling pride in their family history and bearing its weightiness as a privilege. She was determined and tough but also sentimental and “mooshy.” Family melted her heart and all of creation gave her delight.
Patricia Ann was born to John “Jack” and LuLu Noller (nee Mead) in Kennan, Wisconsin on July 24, 1937. The family traced their history in America back to 1699 and were proud to claim a direct blood line to Abraham Lincoln.
Pat and her younger brother Donald grew up in Bruce, Wisconsin, where their father worked as a section foreman for the Soo Line Railroad and their mother was employed in a garment factory. The siblings maintained a rivalry throughout their childhood that could be severe at times. Pat admitted to hitting her brother “upside the head” with a hammer because he was irritating her. Fortunately, the two became very close as they got older and could recall all the fun they had living in the country. They swam in the river and had to pick leeches off their legs, they walked to the dance hall north of town for an evening’s entertainment and picked strawberries at their aunt and uncle’s farm in order to earn pocket money. Because country living had its challenges, such as outhouses, and because Pat didn’t see herself marrying into farm life, she couldn’t wait to move to the “Big City.” She got her chance at age 19, and ironically her parents installed indoor plumbing after she moved to Milwaukee.
When she arrived in the “Big City” in 1956, Pat boarded with a family on 17th Street and Highland Avenue. In February 1957, she met the love of her life. At a Valentine’s Day celebration at Bonks Hall on Milwaukee’s south side (6th and Burnham), Arthur Piwaron asked Pat to dance. He also asked her if she wanted to join the Democratic Party. That was actually a romantic gesture, because as a union man he would then have access to Pat’s information. By the time Art gave her a ride home that evening, he had secured more than her address, he had stolen Pat’s heart. Four months later, the loving couple was married on June 22, 1957 at St. Josephat’s Basilica in Milwaukee.
Art worked for Grand Trunk Railroad as a clerk while Pat focused on their home at 9th and Maple Street and on their first child John, who was born in April of 1958. Their daughter Janet was born in March 1960, and in the fall of 1962, Pat began to work outside the home. She intended the job to be a temporary position in the candy department at Sears for the Christmas season, because she was pregnant with their third child. When Julie was born in August of 1963, Pat was still working and even advancing. She remained with Sears in the credit department for the remainder of her career and retired in 1992 with over 30 years of service.
Pat was a very invested parent, supporting her children in whatever activities they participated. Being a good cook, she made delicious cheese cake and Art’s favorite Polish dishes such as beef tongue or kluski, She was intent on giving her children the gift of their heritage and history. As soon as the school year ended in June, the family took a two-week vacation in Bruce, Wisconsin to visit grandparents and to learn history en route. Pat was in her element whether touring such places as the Baraboo Circus Museum and Al Capone’s hide-out or explaining how current events were important because history was being made. So, compelling her kids to watch the first moon landing in 1969 or the resignation of President Nixon in 1974 made them further aware of the link they had to their American heritage.
In 1989, Pat and Art moved from the south side of Milwaukee and in with their daughter Janet’s family while they looked to buy another home. Becoming best friends with her daughter, Pat and Janet often made weekend excursions to shops, rummage sales, craft fairs and farmers markets. Maxwell Street Days in Mukwonago or St. Martin's Fair in Franklin were a few of their favorites for shopping and selling. Pat sewed doll clothes for “America Girl” and sold them at craft fairs.
When Pat and Art purchased a home in Waukesha, it became their permanent residence, in part because of Pat’s gardening efforts. She loved birds, animals and plants and took pride in beautifying their home with multiple flower beds. True to her character, she passed on her knowledge to her children. When she became a grandmother, Pat had even more minds and hearts to influence and, in return, her grandchildren adored her. She was most certainly “Grandma” to them and to her great-grandchildren she was affectionately called “Busia”.
Another pastime Pat enjoyed was listening to Milwaukee Brewers games with Bob Uecker as broadcaster. If the game was on, everyone had better be quiet! When she eventually got a headset, Pat was thrilled to be able to tune out all unimportant chatter (i.e. “non-Uecker” chatter).
Pat and Art certainly liked socializing with friends, yet they were very content to make their own way with just the two of them. They liked roaming the countryside throughout Wisconsin, and to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, they took a trip to Las Vegas. That was the beginning of what became semi-annual visits in the spring and fall to take in the shows and play the slots. The shows gradually took a back seat as Pat played her favorite nickel machine at the Fremont. Don’t anyone dare get between her and her one-armed bandit!
At the time that Pat’s mother Lulu had died as a consequence of Alzheimer’s Disease, Pat began to have grave concerns about its possible hereditary nature. After her brother Don’s death, Pat’s family detected changes in her behavior that they shared with Pat. She was actually relieved that they had noticed what she was seeing in herself. On December 31, 2013, she was diagnosed with the disease that advanced rapidly. Pat died on Tuesday October 6, 2015.
Pat lived for her family who will miss her and remember her with love and gratitude for who she was and all she had done.
Patricia A. Piwaron (nee Noller). Age 78 years. Beloved wife of Arthur Piwaron. Cherished mother of John (Margaret) Piwaron, Janet (Jeffrey) Rzepinski and Julie Piwaron. Loving grandma of Bradley (Erin) Rzepinski, Thomas (Mary) Piwaron, Renee (Justin) Schwanke, Catherine (Scott) Swanson and Samantha Rzepinski. Great-grandmother of Jason, Laney, Leighton, Hunter and Shay. Dear sister of the late Donald (Frances) Noller. Further survived by other relatives and friends.
Visitation Friday, October 9, 2015 at St. Williams Parish 440 N Moreland Blvd, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53188 from 9:00 am until time of the Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Private interment Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery Union in Grove, WI
Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes
Niemann / Suminski 414-744-5156