Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Patricia "Patty" Zantjer

September 12, 2023
Portage, MI




Patricia “Patty” Zantjer left the loving arms of those that loved her to take up her favorite games of teasing and playing pranks, but in Heaven. She was a bright star, with a radiant smile and an infectious laugh, that captivated people. Born in Detroit, MI, on November 22, 1943 to Dallas and Viola (Muehe) Payne, Patty grew up in Richland, MI, on the family farm and at their cottage at Gull Lake. She spent her time skiing at the lake and skating at the roller rink. Patty worked at The Pub, owned by her parents, where she met Bruce Zantjer.

Patty and Bruce were married on May 11, 1963 and were able to celebrate their 60th anniversary. Together they raised their children, Scott and Angela (Lin) in Otsego and at their cottage at Duck Lake. At the cottage, Patty baked in the sunshine, hosted 4th of July parties, sat around the fire and created mischief. Patty had a passion for animals. Her family joked that she would bring a stray horse home if she could.

Patty proudly worked as a bus driver for Otsego Public Schools for 44 years. She delighted in greeting her students in the morning with a smile. She rejoiced in taking bus trips to watch the students in marching band, choir and sports. One of her favorite hobbies was singing with the Sweet Adelines. Patty relished the friendship of the other women and the music that touched her heart. Most importantly, she wore bright costumes with lots of sparkle, which harmonized with her personality. Patty looked forward to family reunions and spending time playing cards and laughing late into the night. There was never a dull moment or a shortage of rowdy laughter. Gracious thanks to the friends and family that spent time with her at the nursing home and brought joy to her. Remember her friendship, devotion to her family and her generous heart.

A celebration, emphasis on celebration, of Patty’s life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Centrica Care Givers, the Hospice that affectionately cared for her at the end of her life.