Our mother, Patricia Hernacki, passed away in her sleep May 29, 2013 being released from her Parkinson's. She was fifth generation Detroit born.
Granddaughter to Joseph Prance, the First member of Kiwanis. The 1960's brought her to the Space Coast with her husband Tom and young family. Sadly he passed in service to our country.
She utilized her math degree from The University of Detroit and became a teacher at Melbourne High School. She earned up a Masters in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She was an integral part and Treasurer for the Brevard Federation of Teachers. She once had us walk the picket line. While raising her five children with grace and gumption, it took a village to raise us. She surrounded us with many lovely friends of different politics, faiths, color and sexual orientation. It is true that which can be a dividing line to an adult, does not matter to a child; love, intelligence, and respect do. In 1967, our Mom started dating a fellow teacher, Earl Wheeler. They were together 42 years till he passed four years ago.
Mom loved taking us camping most summers. Pack up the VW van and away we went. Add in hiking, sailing, fishing, attending cultural performances classes, clubs, cooking and when we had a moment, fixing things in the house; which did include tiling the floors. It also made each one of us individuals. She was diverse in her interests: motorcyclist, cyclist, hike the Adirondack Trail, artist, weaver, orchid cultivator, sword woman, guitarist, pianist, reader, and hugger. We learned to never stop learning or going on adventures.
As a teacher, she touched many lives. Our brother, T.R., convinced her to be the teacher sponsor and create a rowing team for Melbourne High School. She remained a sponsor till she retired in 1996.
Pat's legacy lives on in her children, Kelly T.R. and his wife Lisa, Kevin, Timothy, and Samantha.; her sister, Judy Worley; grandchildren, Scott, Sarah, and Nicholas; and the countless students, family, and friends she came in contact with.
We will celebrate Pat's life on Saturday, June 29 at 2pm at Fountainhead Memorial Funeral Home, 7303 Babcock Street, SE, Palm Bay, Florida 32909, 321-727-3977.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Pat's name to either: the Mel-High Crew (note Pat's name in the Description) http://www.melhicrew.com OR The Hazel Hutchman Memorial Neuroscience Center, http://hutchmancenter.org.
Memories and condolences:
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on June 23, 2013