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Updegraff, Patricia Ropke  
Updegraff, Patricia Ropke, 94, passed away peacefully on her birthday, December 13, 2014, at Treyton Oak Towers. A native Louisvillian, Pat attended Longfellow Elementary, Highland Junior High and J.M. Atherton High School. In 1942, she graduated from the University of Louisville, where she was awarded the Woodcock medal. She then did summer post-graduate work at the National University of Mexico, in Mexico City. When she returned to Louisville, she established a day care for children of mothers who were involved in the war effort. In September, 1942, she met Norman C. Updegraff, who had moved to Louisville to work at the Dupont Neoprene plant in the making of synthetic rubber. They were married January 14, 1943. As the daughter of a church organist, Elsa Grahn Ropke, and Judge Frank A. Ropke, Mrs. Updegraff learned at an early age hymns (all the verses!), choral music and community involvement. Mr. and Mrs. Updegraff were co-editors of The Louisville Engineer and Scientist, a monthly publication, from 1945 - 1964. From 1960 - 1968, Mrs. Updegraff volunteered as manager of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Her newsletters with "Boy and Girl of the Week" and her Christmas poems, which included the names of all the young musicians, were legendary. Mrs. Updegraff was clerk or sheriff at her local polling place for thirty-five years. She was a member and trustee of Highland Presbyterian Church. She sang for thirty-seven years in the chorus of the Louisville Bach Society, which she also served as secretary, program editor and translator. She was a board member of the Fund for the Arts, a member of the Filson Historical Society, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Caldwell County Historical Society, the Fincastle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Monday Afternoon Club, the German-American Club, the Woodcock Society and Friends of the School of Music at the University of Louisville, and was a Kentucky Colonel. Mrs. Updegraff was predeceased by her parents, her sister Elsa Ropke Mack, her husband of 65 years, Norman, and an infant son, John Ropke Updegraff. Mrs. Updegraff was a lifelong Louisvillian who treasured the local history and historic architecture. She loved people and made friends wherever she went. She was known for her incredible memory for family history and dates. She sent birthday cards and family newsletters to hundreds of friends every year. Mrs. Updegraff is survived by her daughter, Betsy Foshee (Clyde) and their children, Robert Foshee (Virginia) and their children, Caroline, Graham and Olivia; Franklin Foshee; and Patricia Connally (Brett) and their children, Amelia, Charlotte and Thomas, all of Louisville; son Robert Updegraff (Brenda) and children Florence Duffield (Simon) and their children, Björn and Franklin; Rob Updegraff; Eleanor Updegraff; and Beatrice Updegraff, all of England; son David Updegraff (fiancée Luana Murphy) and his children, Paul Updegraff (Emily) and their children, Norman and Maya, all of Ohio; and Christiana Updegraff (Tucker Bass) of California. The family would like to thank the entire staff of Treyton Oak Towers for its loving care and attention over the past eight years. There will be a memorial service Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Highland Presbyterian Church, 1011 Cherokee Road, with visitation to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be made to Highland Presbyterian Church, 1011 Cherokee Road, Louisville, Kentucky, 40204 or the Louisville Orchestra, 323 W. Broadway #700, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202.
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Published in The Courier-Journal from Dec. 20, 2014 to Jan. 8, 2015
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