The Heroines

P.A.M. Gustke

is honored with a Brick from Gretchen Grossardt, Nancy Jewell, and Johanna Gustke Hutmacher.

 P.A.M.  Gustke Our mother has always been active. Whether it's working crossword puzzles and crypto quips in the newspaper, reading voraciously, trouncing us in a competitive game of Scrabble, playing Mah Jong (even letting the grandchildren play), discussions around the dinner table, or drawing from her phenomenal memory of history and politics, our mom has a sharp mind and keen judgment. From childhood, our memories of her have been of a mom who was a real go-getter. Whether it was hauling rocks from the gulch for her rock garden, wonderful birthday parties, teaching Sunday school, or leading our Girl Scout troops, when we lived in Kansas City, we were always on the go. In Dallas, she kept us in Scouts, making sure we got to Girl Scout Choir rehearsals and meetings, watching over Gretchen as she groomed and walked horses at the horse farm behind our house, and kept track of John, who had a tendency to wander off on his own. In Wichita, there were always choir or prom dresses to be sewn, parties and showers, children to taxi, and gardens to grow.

Once we were all out of high school, Mum became more active in the community, in the mother's club for Alpha Chi Omega, at Old Cowtown Museum as a docent (even sewing her costumes), judging food entries at the Old Sedgwick County Fair, as Chair of Christmas through the Windows at Cowtown several years, and as Volunteer Representative to the Cowtown Board of Trustees. She also served on the Friends of the Library Board and volunteered in the Friends of the Library Bookstore. As busy and independent as Mum was, we always knew that we were welcome back home from our pursuits at college, career, or travel.

Mum is a great encourager and exposed us to music and the arts. Because of her, we have a strong musical foundation from taking piano lessons and listening to her records. When we were little we would sit under the piano and listen to Mum play Debussy and Chopin. She has always loved opera. We have her love of movement and took dance lessons when we were little girls. We share her love of art. From the Nelson to the Met, we have museumed together.

Mum was an artist and enjoyed designing women's clothing and costumes. She designed her bridesmaid's dresses. Her paintings are our treasures. Her grandson is learning to draw the human figure from her favorite figure book which she gave him this year. Our love of books stems from Mum reading stories and poetry to us as children, and sharing her books with us as adults.

Her strong family ties to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins instilled in us an appreciation and enjoyment of our extended and immediate family. Like her mother, Mary Julia Menton, she is the matriarch of the family. The images of strong women were passed from mother to daughter to children and now, grandchildren. Mum is a Grandmother extraordinaire to Christopher and Marijana, making birthdays and holidays very special occasions. She still lets us choose what we want her to cook for our birthday dinners. Simply put, mother launched us with confidence and encouragement, and with grace that adapts to the changing times. It is our pleasure to honor our mother in the Plaza of Heroines.

Husband: Gordon John Gustke Daughters: Pamela Gretchen Gustke Grossardt, Johanna Carolyn Gustke Hutmacher, Nancy Ellen Gustke Jewell Son: John Menton Gustke Grandchildren: Christopher Asbury Rayl, Marijana Rose Rayl
September 14, 1998 (for P.A.M. Gustke)