Giving, loving, selfless, and hard working, Patricia Engl was ever faithful in all she did. A beautiful example of a good Christian woman, she gave of herself, her time, and her resources without expecting anything in return. A true people person, it was in her nature to share God’s love through her giving heart. Although now gone from sight, her memory lives on in the memories of her family and friends to be held forever close.
As the war in Europe continued to dominate headlines, drive-in movies and fast food restaurants were gaining popularity in the U.S. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by the Japanese tested America’s once resilient nature, and to that end, the U.S. officially declared war on Japan. Amidst these uncertain and apprehensive times, the birth of Patricia Ann Mauer on May 11, 1941 gave her parents, Walter and Rose (Rockenbach) Mauer, hope for brighter tomorrows.
Born in the bustling city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Mother’s Day that year, little Patricia Ann even made headlines in the Milwaukee Journal, noting her birth on such a fitting day. Her father worked for a chrome plating company while her mother remained at home with Patricia and her younger siblings, Wayne, Sandra, and Linda. From a young age she had a love for horses, and as a young girl her father bought her a horse of her very own. Her grandfather owned a farm nearby on 43rd Street and Silver Spring Drive, so it was convenient for her to ride and groom her precious pony. Sadly, Patricia experienced the sudden death of her beloved father when she was merely ten years old.
Patricia attended Carlton Grade School and Riverside High School. When her mother needed to find work, she left her schooling behind to care for her younger brother and sisters. She still found time to enjoy hanging out with friends, bowling, and playing volleyball. As a teenager of the 1950s, she developed a love for music, especially Elvis.
Life became easier for Patricia’s family when her mother later remarried. Through this union, Patricia gained another little brother when their son, Robert Truchan came along, making Patricia the oldest of five children. In time she acquired her G.E.D. through the Milwaukee Area Technical College, and began working at Sears.
While still in her teens, Patricia’s good friend, Diane Engl, set her up on a blind date with her brother, Ralph Engl, and their romance blossomed. On November 24, 1960, at Cross Lutheran Church, Patricia and Ralph not only celebrated vows of marriage, but his birthday, as well. They made their first home together in the flat above her mother’s place on Fratney Street.
Their first son, Ralph was born in June of 1961, and son, Bruce followed in October of 1963. Their daughter, Theresa completed their family in July of 1968. In 1985 Patricia and Ralph purchased their house at 3114 N. Fratney St., across the street from her mother, where Patricia and Ralph would remain for the rest of their days. She loved being a mother to her three children. She was always looking out for them, helped them in all ways, and supplied each of their needs. Most importantly, she did so with much love and dedication.
As a family, they enjoyed special times. They went to Holiday On Ice every year, and spent wonderful vacations in Nashville, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, and California. A highlight for Patricia was visiting Elvis’ home at Graceland. She also often enjoyed going up-north to Campfire Lane in Suring, Wisconsin with family. With all of the kids various injuries from camping and play, she was a good nurse, tending to their needs and putting them all back together again! Her daughter’s dog, Hobo held a special place in Patricia’s heart, and she often referred to him as her “grandchild”.
Patricia made a good home for her family all while also working outside the home. She later worked for the Class Shoe Company before moving on to Weynberg Shoe Company. It later became the WEYCO Group, and Patricia attained the level of purchaser, retiring with 34 years of service. She was a steadfast, hard worker, and was always the first one there and usually the last to leave. During vacations, she’d even come home a day early to ensure she was ready to begin the work week.
In her free time, Patricia enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and favored the color green, often reflected in her work. She made beautiful dolls, blankets, slippers, and monkey socks which were family favorites. Always at the ready with a camera in hand, she was the family photographer. Over the years she recorded memorable holidays, fun-filled vacations, and the growth and milestones of her family. She liked blackberry brandy, old fashions, and wine on occasion, too.
With faith as her guide, Patricia demonstrated her faith daily. She was an active participant in her Monday bible study group, sent cards to shut-ins, helped in the church pantry every Saturday, and assisted with Sunday school. She loved others, and stopped at nothing when it came to helping those in need. When her husband, Ralph passed away, Patricia was at a loss without him, but through the love of family and friends, she carried on.
Already suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, in 2007 Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy depleted her immune system greatly, and the RA eventually attacked her lungs, for which she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis lung disease. The prognosis was not good, and the doctors gave her less than a year to live. Indeed a fighter, she moved in and out of hospice care several times, and after entering rehab, worked diligently to make it back home. Her doctors marveled at her medical tenacity, and often referred to her as having “nine lives”. Confined to her home more and more, Patricia’s love of people left her feeling disconnected. She soon discovered the internet and Facebook, which helped occupy her time and kept her connected to others.
On April 27, 2012, Patricia entered hospice care for the final time in the comfort of her longtime home on Fratney Street. At the age of 70, she sadly died on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Having loved completely and fully, Patricia enjoyed her life and the family which brought her the greatest joy. Gone yet never to be forgotten, her love lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
Patricia was the cherished mother of Ralph (Theresa M.) Engl, Bruce Engl, and Theresa A. Engl; dear sister of Wayne (Lynn) Mauer of Ocala, Florida, the late Sandra (Richard) Hoffman, the late Linda (Earl) Hendrix, and Robert (Marilyn Strankowski) Truchan. She is also survived by her south side friend, Linda Gross; other relatives, friends and special companion, “Hobo Engl”. She was also preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ralph M. Engl, and parents, Rose Truchan and Walter Mauer.
Visitation with Patricia’s family will take place Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 9:00 AM until the time of her funeral service at 11:00 AM at the Suminski/Weiss Life Story Funeral Home, 1901 N. Farwell Avenue, (414) 276-5122. Interment in Graceland Cemetery. To share a favorite memory, photo and to sign Patricia’s online guest book, please visit www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com. Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes.