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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Patricia Rapczynski would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was vibrant, fun-loving, and kind with a heart that beat to love and serve those around her. Pat was a loving wife and mother, and her family was her primary focus throughout her life. There was nothing she loved more than her family and being a grandmother later in life. With faith as a cornerstone in her life, she was content in whatever life brought. Although she will be deeply missed, Pat’s family finds comfort in knowing that she is enjoying perfect peace in her eternal home.
As the 1940s dawned, the world was keeping a close eye overseas as WWII raged on. It was just as this decade was getting started that William and Eleanor (Boutette) Morgan were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Patricia on September 28, 1940, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Sadly, her father died at a young age, which left her mother to raise Patricia and her brothers, Willam “Bill” and Terrence “Terry” on her own. To support their family, her mother worked as a telephone operator. Patricia’s family and neighbors always knew Patricia for her curly, black hair. Raised in the family home, she loved being surrounded by the smells of the bakery that was located just behind their home. Patricia enjoyed playing with her brothers and other neighborhood children as well as visiting her grandparents. As a student at local schools, she was on the high school swim team, was an active lifeguard, played cornet, enjoyed social dances, and was part of the drama club. Acting would prove to play an important role in Pat’s adult life as well.
Not long after graduating from Walkerville Collegiate, Patricia crossed the border daily to work as a secretary for Conrad Rapczynski in Detroit. Because their firm didn’t allow employees to date one another, Conrad took it upon himself to make Pat’s job less enjoyable by giving her extra work and tedious tasks to perform. His objective was to have her quit, and he succeeded. The day after she quit, he asked her out and the rest is history as they say. Deeply in love, Patricia and Conrad were married a year after their first date. Together they welcomed three children including Renee, Denise, and Matthew into their hearts and home. Patricia was a fantastic wife, mother, and homemaker in addition to taking some classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She spent several years working for the YMCA in downtown Kalamazoo and as a model for Abbey’s People Modeling agency. As an adult, Pat became a United States citizen.
With Patricia at the helm, their household ran smoothly. Her family appreciated her skills in the kitchen as she made wonderful goulash, potato soup, and she was a pizza lover, however, her favorite meal was dessert! They regularly attended Catholic mass as a family, and there was always a pet around whether a dog, cat, or fish as Pat was an animal lover herself. They drove to both Detroit and Canada to visit both sides of the family for Christmas every year, and Patricia and her family spent summer vacations at Little Bear Lake in Grand Junction for several years. Although she was allergic to the sun, she was still out there in her big floppy hats, long sleeves, and pants enjoying the experience with her family. Pat and Conrad later bought a trailer at Kline’s Resort in Vicksburg, which became a place of many wonderful moments and precious memories for the whole family.
Outgoing and kind, Pat and her husband hosted card parties on weekend evenings with their friends the De Vrieses, Vanderklocks, and the Lambornes. As adults, Pat and her brothers were very close despite the fact that she lived in the United States while they lived in Canada. Sadly, Pat experienced the loss of her older brother, Bill, followed very shortly thereafter by her mother. Fortunately, she continued to enjoy weekly phone calls with her brother, Terry, for many years. Pat had many friends and enjoyed having neighbors over for coffee and good conversation.
Throughout her life Patricia was one to keep busy. She had numerous interests and hobbies including ceramics, decoupage, and yoga. In fact, she even made an attempt at ballet. Patricia didn’t get very far as she tripped over the curb in the parking lot on her way into the building when she went to sign up, breaking her collarbone. That was as close as she came to learning ballet. With a love for acting, she was a member of the The Kalamazoo Civic Players and performed in many of their productions, including “The Great White Hope.” She also had a lead role, as the Evil Queen, in the 9th Street presentation of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Pat was a longtime member of the Catholic church at St. Monica in Kalamazoo and later at St. Martin in Vicksburg. She was very involved in the Christian Women’s Club for many years and developed significant friendships through that club. Patricia and their entire family were die hard Western Michigan Bronco hockey fans. Some of the family watched for the game while others watched for the athleticism, but Patricia definitely loved it for the fights! She loved reading as well as listening to her favorite Neil Diamond albums.
Full of life and love, comforting and encouraging during difficult times, and selfless in everything she did, there was no one who met Patricia Rapczynski and left unchanged. She had a positive, yet realistic, outlook on life, and she enjoyed a good joke, even if it was at her own expense. Pat was never one to worry around the little things, rather, her sights were set on the things from above. A people person, she was warm, inviting, and genuine, and a friend of Patricia’s was truly blessed. Deeply loved, she will never be forgotten.
Patricia Rapczynski died on February 5, 2017, at Summit’s Trace Health Care Facility. Pat’s family includes her 2 daughters: Renee Rapczynski and Denise (Larry) Hinkle; 3 grandchildren: Michael Siemers, Morgan Hinkle and Conrad Hinkle; brother, Terrence (Liz) Morgan and many nieces and nephews. Pat was preceded in death by her husband, Conrad Rapczynski in 2001; son, Matthew Rapczynski in 2004 and by a brother, William Morgan. Catholic mass and funeral services will be celebrated Saturday, February 11th at 11 a.m., at St. Martin of Tours Parish (5855 East W. Ave, Vicksburg) with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow the mass in the parish hall. Pat’s final resting place will be at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Pat’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial Contributions to either the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) or National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org) Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269-375-2900).