Patricia J. Dahleen, born Feb. 16, 1925, Keokuk, Iowa; at rest Sept. 23, 2013, Fountain Hills, Ariz. Mother of eleven met with Mother Teresa When Pat Dahleen and Mother Teresa met, they shared their faith in God and their mutual reliance on the power of love and compassion to see them through life's most difficult challenges. Faith and love combined to form the indomitable spirit of this widow who raised nine children, two having died in infancy. Born Patricia Joan Hatton on the farm in Keokuk, Iowa, the youngest of five, "Patsy" was pretty and petite and quickly acquired a love of fashion from her older three sisters. A job at the ticket booth of the downtown movie theater allowed her to buy the select things that started her as someone who "dressed to the nines" - something that never left her. At 21 she married James Richard "Dick" Dahleen when he returned from the Pacific after the War. The growing family soon moved to Osseo, Minn. where lasting friendships were made. In the mid-60s they moved to Winfield, Ill. into a custom built house big enough to accommodate the eight children remaining at home. Life in Winfield was good with St. John the Baptist Parish providing the anchor, and Friday night fish fry at the VFW
and bridge club assuring never a dull moment. But suddenly Dick fell ill and died of cancer in October of 1970 leaving Patsy with eight kids at home stretching from college to kindergarten. There was no estate so Patsy went to work at St. John's as the bookkeeper, a position she held for more than 20 years. Money was tight but somehow there was always enough to feed one or two of the kids' friends. All were welcome in this home. As the four girls and five boys grew up and got married, Patsy was able to fly to Phoenix and Seattle and London (where she met Mother Teresa), thanks to eldest daughter Mary being a flight attendant, so that she could care for her growing passel of grandchildren. Everyone wanted "Gramie" around and she loved the attention and affection. Late in life, an unexpected inheritance from two high school buddies brought Patsy wealth that she had never known. The money was spent on her children and grandchildren. Two years ago she lost her son Matt, the twin of John, to pancreatic cancer. Before Matt died, at his Celebration of Life, he asked his Mom to not forget him. She responded: "I'll never forget you, my darling!" Nor shall we ever forget you, Mom. Mary & Gary (Spencer); Mark & Caroline Dahleen, grand Richard & Emily, great grands Sofia and Leanna; Anne & Dan (Hill), grands James, Conor & Charity Hill, great grands Sophia and Felicity, grands Joseph, Patrick & Patina Hill, greatgrand Ignatius; Suzie & John (Sheaffer), grands Andy, Amanda & Tom (Wright), greatgrand Betsy, grand Abby, steps Greta & Daniel (Abers), step grands Timothy, Jesse, Joanna, Mischa and Judah; step grand John & Shanna(Sheaffer), step grands Jade, John IV and Henry; Teresa & Fred (Severson), grand Tricia, great grands Summer and Leo; grands Michael, and Carly & Jake (Civis); Matthew (deceased), grand Kaitlin; John & Heather Dahleen, grands Callie, Shayla, and Cullen; Thomas Dahleen, grands Trista, Cara and Luke; Joseph & Sarah Dahleen, grands Hannah, Emma and Chloe. Visitation Friday, Sept. 27, 9:30 a.m., Iles-Westover Chapel, 6337 Hickman Rd., Des Moines, Iowa 50322. Ph. 515-276-4567. Funeral Mass, 10:30 a.m., St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, 1230 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50311. Fr. Mark Neal, presiding. Ph. 515- 279-4654. Burial to follow, Glendale Cemetery, 4909 University Ave, Des Moines, IA. 50311. Memorial Service Saturday, Sept. 28, noon, St. John the Baptist Church, Winfield, Ill. 60190. Ph. 630-668-0918.