Late on the evening of August 23, I received a surprise call from a co-worker announcing that my long time boss, mentor, colleague and friend, Pat King had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away earlier in the day.
I can clearly remembering interviewing with her for a processing position about 25 years ago in order to follow my (then) Loan Officer, Scott Nolan over to his new company. I met Pat, who was wearing a brightly colored Mickey Mouse t-shirt and how could I have known then, that my life would be changed forever more as a result of that fateful date with destiny.
In the beginning it was just a job, but over time it became a career and Pat took the time to both challenge and frustrate me to move beyond my processor role into a mid-level manager role and our relationship grew from there. She encouraged me to continue to grow in my role until I reached the level I wanted to achieve. She celebrated my successes and lamented my challenges over the years. We grew personally and professionally together over the many years we worked together. Our children grew up separately but together. I so fondly recalling that on Pat’s 40th birthday, I thoughtfully prepared a basket of “what could be worse than being 40” sheets of paper to help her accept and move forward which included a tagline “you could be pregnant”, which later I found out she was! A beautiful son, Tommy joined the family!
Eventually, I left the company to move to South Carolina but sometime later we came back together in yet another version of ourselves and it was then that I had finally grown enough to come to fully understand and appreciate our relationship and our friendship that had always existed.
The news was shocking to say the least, and suddenly I’m dealing with the acceptance that comes with a way too early and way too fast death of a truly good person. We found ourselves leaving Coeur d’Alene trying to figure out what our next move would be. Finally on the Wednesday following her death, the arrangements are announced and now we’re challenged with how I or we to get back to Phoenix in time for the services on Friday. Finally it’s sorted out and early, early on Thursday, we race our way out of West Glacier to Bozeman (7 hours) so Dan can drop me at the airport in time to make a flight for the services on Friday morning.
The services were amazing and the friends and colleagues that attended proved without a doubt what a good woman Pat was and how much the world will be changed as a result of her untimely death. I only feel cheated that I had not been lucky enough to have been born into the great family that she had been born into and I was reminded of how special those people are in all our families that work so diligently to hold their families together.
Pat was a great woman, a single mom, who raised two children and who climbed the corporate ladder based on her abilities alone and she never once forgot to pull the next person up the ladder with her. She was always more interested in your accomplishments, and your struggles than her own. She saw the best in and she believed completely in everyone she met. She never asked more of you than what she was willing to do herself and she will be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know her for all of time.
A very sad and heartfelt “goodbye” to my friend, Pat- Godspeed to you and our heartfelt sympathies to all of those who are left behind!
King, Patricia Pat King was a woman who smiled often, laughed easily, and loved fiercely. She lived life as if each day, each person, each experience was a memory to cherish. On Saturday, August 23, God called back Pat, probably because there was a party to be planned in Heaven. As a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and great-aunt, Pat’s caring spirit and generosity sheltered the people who loved her most. She is survived by her loving husband of 31 years Bill, son David Niemann (wife Coleen), daughter Jennifer Niemann-King, son Thomas King, grandchildren Cole and Christopher, brother Bob Kelley (Lisa), sisters Nancy Starr-Cassidy (Patrick), Diane Chadwell (Vic), Judy Perham (Steve), 8 nieces and nephews, 6 grand nephews and nieces. The oldest child of Robert Charles and Ruth Anne Kelley, Pat was born in Schenectady, NY, but spent most of her childhood in Scottsdale. As an adult, Pat (or PK as her close friends often called her) planted her roots in the Valley, raising her family in Ahwatukee. She cherished her weekend South Mountain hikes with Bill, Saturday manicures with Jennifer, joking and goofing with Tom, and sharing a glass of wine with David. Pat devoted over 30 years as a professional in the mortgage banking industry and created friendships that meant the world to her. Her “Happy Place” was anywhere with an ocean and a beach, and in recent years, she came to love the Oregon Coast. Pat was also an avid supporter of the Susan B. Komen breast cancer walk for many years, by fund-raising and participating in the 3-Day walk with her team, the Tukee Tatas. Pat was the touchstone for her family, friends, and associates. Our lives are brighter for sharing her light, and she will be greatly missed. Services will be at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th Street in Ahwatukee on Friday August 29, 2014 at 11 AM. Contributions can be made to the fund of your choice: Thomas King Donation Account, Jennifer Niemann-King Donation Account, both at 4747 E. Elliot Road, #29 Box 309, Phoenix AZ 85044, or Tukee Tatas 4040 E. Torrey Pines Ln, Chandler, AZ 85249, More information available at www.messingermortuary.com