Patricia M. “Pat” Cather 1929 ~ 2022

Patricia Mae (Pat) Cather passed away on October 31, 2022 at Patterson Health Center where she received wonderful physical care, loving community support, and spiritual nurturing in her last days. Pat was not a Harper County native, but she embraced the rural life when she married Stretch. Pat loved the Harper County community and served it well. Pat was community leader of Spring Robins 4-H Club for 9 years; she was a Sunday School teacher; United Methodist Women President and Church Treasurer for Burchfiel United Methodist Church for decades; a Board member of the Anthony Hospital for 9 years; a member of PEO and sorority; and several bridge clubs.

Pat was born July 10, 1929 in Wichita, Kansas to Gwynne E. and Beulah Mae Meeker. She grew up in a very supportive family, with weekly visits to her grandparent’s home where she and her cousins would create plays, poetry, and songs, type playbills, then perform them for the adults. This creativity turned into her passion for theater, musicals, and concerts. Pat attended schools in the Riverside neighborhood, including John Marshall middle school and North High School, graduating with the class of 1947.

Pat attended Southwestern College for 2 years, studying elementary education, then taught at Anthony for a year during the war. While there, she met Stretch. She completed her degree at Southern Methodist University, then returned to Anthony to resume teaching and married Robert (Stretch) Cather in 1952. Pat also taught at Eagle School for several years starting in 1962.

Pat and Stretch started farming southwest of Anthony in 1954, and moved to the farm where they lived the next 62 years. Pat had a huge vegetable garden, in addition to her many flower gardens. She maintained the yard and gardens into her 80s, and cooked meals for the hired help into her late 70s. Pat was an accomplished seamstress, making many shirts and suitcoats for Stretch and clothes for her children and herself. Pat was in her element hosting dinners for family and friends. Many city friends came to visit the farm and raved about her delicious meals which almost always included home-made rolls.

Family was very important to Pat. She and Stretch had two children, Mike and Connie. Pat encouraged them to do public speaking and learn leadership through 4-H; and grow as Christians in youth group. She would tell you she enjoyed her children most as adults, engaging in meaningful conversations with them over the years. Pat and Stretch attended all activities in which their kids and grandkids participated. When Mike was playing Junior College basketball, Barton County Community College honored them for their support.

Pat had a real love for nature. She particularly loved birds and instilled that love in her grandsons, Ben and Jeff. Ben saw a bald eagle on a terrace top one day (unheard of there). He rushed back to the farmhouse to get Grandma, knowing she would love to see it on their farm. Jeff has carried on her love of gardening, which he learned from her.

Pat was an avid reader and a student of life. She read only non-fiction books, ever wanting to learn more about people, cultures, and life. She read the newspaper cover-to-cover. She was also adept at stock market investing. Stretch would tell people he married her for her brain. He admired her intelligence and had a lot of faith in her financial decisions. When farming/ranching became difficult, Pat was the one who wanted to persevere with that business. She was a rock for Stretch.

Pat loved to travel. She and Stretch went as far as Africa, South America, the Nordic countries, Europe, the Holy Land, and China. They loved cruising Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, and took many trips within the continental United States. Traveling satisfied her yearning to learn of other cultures. Africa was a particular favorite of hers. She loved the people there and supported several causes there after their trip.

Stretch and Pat moved from the farm to Country Living in 2016 when Stretch needed more care than Pat could provide. She continued to care for most of his needs until he passed in 2019. They made many friends at Country Living. She will miss her Country Living family. The comradery was special, and the care received there was very loving.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, Gwynne and Beulah; her husband, Stretch, of 66 years; sisters-in-law: Mary Bushnell, Sue Baer, and Marilyn Meeker; brothers-in-law: Jim Bushnell and Bill Baer; other family members, and most of her friends whom she outlived.

She will be greatly missed by her children Mike (Karen) Cather, Connie (Eddie) Green; grandsons Ben (Amanda) Cather, Jeff (Allie) Cather; great-grandchildren Charlie Mae and Truett Cather; brother Larry Meeker (Sally Roth); many friends, and her beloved Harper County community.

Celebration of Life was held 11:00 a.m. November 7, 2022 at the Anthony United Methodist Church with Reverend Karen Miller of the Burchfiel United Methodist Church officiating. Musical selections included “Claire del lune,” Pat’s piano recital piece, “Supermarket Flowers” and “For Good.”

A private inurnment was held at Forest Park Cemetery, Anthony.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Country Living Inc., Patterson Health Center or to Donor's Choice and may be sent in care of Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003.

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