Patsien "Pat" W. Echanis
March 6, 1932 ~ December 29, 2013
Patsien W Echanis passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on December 29, 2013 in Ontario, OR.
Pat was born in Brawley, CA on March 6, 1932 to Dick and Inez Wilson. Before entering into elementary school, the Wilson family relocated to Ontario, OR where Dick operated Signal Oil. After Dick's death, Inez took over the business, later sold it and became the office manager of the Credit Bureau. Pat attended school in Ontario and graduated in 1949. After graduation, Pat attended the College of Idaho for one year before returning to Ontario.
In Sept of 1953 Pat married Frank Echanis in Winnemucca, NV. Recently there was a heated discussion about who proposed to whom and who paid for the marriage certificate, the truth continues to remain a mystery. One undisputed fact is that Inez (Pat's mother aka Nana) was on a mission to have Frank become her son- in-law. This legal partnership often resulted in Frank and Inez coming home late for Christmas Eve dinners due to their last minute shopping/drinking at the Elks Lodge. More than 60 years of a happy marriage validated Nana's intuition. Father Kirkpatrick later made it possible for Frank and Pat to be married in the Catholic Church. Father Kirk become part of the Echanis family and shared many holidays with them.
Pat and Frank raised 4 children in Ontario; Mike, Frank, Liz and Cam. Pat & Frank become part time parents of many of family friends; Richard Anderson, Chuck Sanders, Mike Flanagan, Bruce Tsukamaki, Tim Kamimae, Lance, Kevin and Weston, all of whom spent many nights in the Echanis basement.
Motherhood was Pat's most important job but she found time to help Frank at Plaza's Tavern and as a sales clerk at Mark's Men's Store. Pat was an active member of the Ontario Basque Club and although she was not Basque even Maria Echanis, Frank's mom, said she had the heart of a Basque woman. After Cam graduated from high school, Pat and Vicki Tuttle purchased the Vogue Women's Clothing store from Keith Farber. She remained in the store for 8 years before retiring.
Whether you were old family friends like Stacia and Conley Davis who shared the Echanis dinner table during the holidays, or you met her during her retail days and she took you out for coffee, Pat always made you feel special and welcome. Her ability and willingness to open her heart to others during difficult times in their lives often transformed her kitchen table into a safe and healing space. Thru the years gallons of coffee and hundreds of cigarettes (mostly at Ramona Barinaga's), the ladies of the neighborhood made their rounds to each others homes. Pat would talk for hours on the phone with her surrogate sister, Patricia Bryan, as Dad puts it "for days they can talk and about what I don't know". Pat loved getting her hair done and getting dressed up to go to lunch at the Plaza Inn or dinner with the "girls" at Meechan's for finger steaks. Pat loved her friends and the time she shared with them.
Pat loved going to McCall, ID and enjoyed her summers there for more than 50 years. As a child Pat had fond memories on spending time there at Girl Scout camp and after marrying Frank, took highly anticipated summer vacations that the entire family enjoyed. Frank made a gift to Pat on Mothers Day in 1970 of a lot to build a cabin and in 1972 she had a new vacation home to share with her family and friends. To this day, Pat's cabin rules are posted, keep it like you found it. Pat loved a clean home and the legacy of her vacuuming skills will forever be the gold standard.
In Pat's last days, she shared with everyone who visited that her husband and caregiver had allowed her to live at home despite the serious condition of her heart and kidneys. As Pat said…"He takes such good care of me, I am lucky to have him". In her last month, she laughed to no end, to the point the family was asked to keep it down in St Al's cardio ICU. She went from home to hospital to hospice to heaven in 30 days…with her hair done…Perfectly Pat.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, Dick and Inez; sister, Doris and son, Mike.
The family would like to thank all of those who offered a helping hand and prayers over the years. Special thanks go to Father Jos, their neighbors (the Clasen's, Kitamura's, Murata's and Lowell Kolbaba), Aunt Lou Echanis and Heart and Home Hospice for taking special care of our family in these last difficult weeks.
Pat touched may people in many ways. Over the years, many of her children's friends would stop by or call to see how they were doing. She will be missed.
The funeral service and celebration of life reception will be held at the Ontario Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Wounded Warriors Foundation or the Ontario Basque Club on her behalf.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Pat's memorial webpage at www.summersfuneral.com.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Jan. 5, 2014