is honored with a Tree from Rebecca, Dean, Whitney and Taylor Smith
Patricia (Ahern) Bruce was born December 4, 1924, in Burlington, Iowa. She is the daughter of Margaret Dorothy (Fox) Ahern and George Patrick (Roxy) Ahern. Raised in Quincy, Illinois, she graduated from Quincy High School in 1942.
She has two daughters, Karen Marie (Bruce) Olsen and Rebecca Margaret Elizabeth (Bruce) Smith. Karen, along with her husband Dean, lives in Elmhurst, Illinois. They have three children - Daniel, Debby and Dena. Rebecca, along with her husband Dean, lives in Wichita, Kansas. They have two children - Whitney and Taylor. (Yes! Both sons-in-law are named Dean!)
Pat's life is marked by family and hard work. In 1941, her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As a result, funds became tight and she was forced her to change her plans of going to college to that of going to work. Then, she married and had two children. Ultimately, she was faced with the daunting task of not only supporting and raising her children by herself but also supporting her own mother. Pat rose to the occasion and worked hard to provide the things that mattered in order for all to survive and to thrive. Her efforts made life pleasant for her mother and made all the difference in the future lives of her children. She gave them the tools to endure and prosper on their own by successfully graduating both girls from Western Illinois University - the first college graduates in the family!
She faced her battle with breast cancer with the same determination and willingness to do whatever was necessary to beat it. Once again, she succeeded.
Her work history includes a stint as "Rosie the Riveter" at a munitions plant in Chicago during World War II, a claims adjuster for an insurance company, the Treasurer at the Park District in Quincy, Illinois, an office assistant in the Advancement Office at Wichita State University and finally, an office assistant in Printing Services at WSU. Her strengths are a joy working with people and the intellect, curiosity and capability to do a job thoroughly and precisely.
For pleasure, Pat enjoys a garden full of iris, lilacs, roses and....tomatoes! She also has a passion for music that crosses the spectrum from Irish Folk Songs to Big Band to musicals and light opera. Her interest in art has led her to collect art books from the great museums of the world. And, recently, she has developed a passion for basketball. She closely tracks the Shockers, the Jayhawks, and any pro team that has a former "favorite player" on it!
Always, her family is foremost. She has delighted in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. She has honored her parents. She has taught the values of loyalty, honesty, hard work, excellence, kindness and compassion.
She is an inspiration. She is a beloved mother and grandmother. She is an "everyday" heroine!