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Patricia Aldrich

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Patricia J. Aldrich, 88, of Storm Lake died July 6, 2024, at Methodist Manor Retirement Community in Storm Lake.

Funeral Mass will take place Thursday, July 11, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Storm Lake. Burial will be in Little Sioux Township Cemetery in Smithland. Visitation will take place Wednesday, July 10, from 5-7 p.m. at Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in Patricia's name to a local blood bank of your choice or St. Croix Hospice.

Patricia Jane Fitzgerald was born Jan. 20, 1936, the second daughter of Earl and Sybil Fitzgerald of Hornick. She completed high school in Hornick, then married Lowell Aldrich of Rodney in October 1954. The couple settled on Lowell’s family farm south of Rodney, and the first of their five children appeared on the scene just 10 months later.

With four more kids close behind, Pat threw herself into the job of raising children. She sat through countless little league games in Smithland, band concerts and football games in Mapleton; she baked birthday cakes, gardened, canned what she grew, cracked and sold black walnuts, and played the organ at two Catholic churches. She joined a bowling league and played cards with other Moms in our little valley, and once bought a sail boat, because why not?

Pat loved her life on the farm, but as her children grew older and more independent, she grew, too. She got certified as an EMT for the local ambulance service and spent more of her free time at estate sales and auctions, kindling a life-long love of antiques. She opened her first shop in an old filling station in Smithland with her friend Pat McDonald, and an antique business was born.

Eventually, she would open her own antique mall in Onawa, where she made lasting friendships with antique collectors from all around the country.

But work and family were only part of who Pat was. A voracious reader, she always wanted to see the larger world. Family trips to Colorado and the Black Hills only sparked her imagination, and she set her sights on bigger game: a safari in Kenya and Tanzania; a trip to her native Ireland; an Alaska cruise; Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal; Banff National Park in Canada and Sanibel Island, Fla. Lake Okoboji was a spiritual place for her. Each of her kids and grandkids can recite her favorite travel expression by heart: “I’ll go anywhere, anytime, with anybody.” And she meant it.

She was also active in Onawa community theater and was a hospice volunteer.   

In 2014, she moved to Storm Lake to be nearer to her daughter, Stacy and son-in-law, Zeke. A series of small strokes eventually took away her ability to drive and travel on her own, but she enjoyed watching her great-granddaughter’s softball games, her great-grandson’s motorcycle races, playing Fast Track with Bruce and Suzie, as well as frequent visits from friends, children and grandchildren.

She died peacefully on July, 6, 2024, at the age of 88.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents; as well as her sister Diana; and brother Mike; and her husband Lowell.

She is survived by her sister Deborah and husband Eric of Boston; son Steve and his wife Jane of Minneapolis; son Bruce and his wife Suzie of Harrisburg, S.D.; daughter Lori Storr and her husband Mark of Ankeny; daughter Stacy Meyer and her husband Zeke of Storm Lake; and son Tom and his wife Resa of Shelton, Wash.; plus 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Gracia Forney, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

Pat’s family would like to offer our sincere thanks to the entire care team at Methodist Manor in Storm Lake… you have been a blessing. If you’d like to make a memorial contribution in Pat’s honor, please direct it to your local blood bank, or better yet, donate a pint of blood. During her lifetime, Pat gave more than 10 gallons.

Patricia Aldrich