COLDENHAM - Mary Patricia "Pat" Dempsey, of Coldenham, devoted wife and mother, passed away at Glen Arden in Goshen on Friday (Nov. 1, 2013) with her family at her side. She was 88.
Pat was born on Aug. 10, 1925, in Allegany, the daughter of William S. Anger and Helen Tracy Anger. As a child, she developed a life-long love of horses by often accompanying her father, a master blacksmith, to farms in Allegany County where he worked on teams of horses. Pat was always proud of her mother, who worked as manager of the Market Basket grocery store in Friendship from 1938 to 1958.
Raised in Friendship, Pat played the organ at daily and Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church while in high school. She graduated Friendship High School as salutatorian of her class in 1943. Pat became a registered nurse when she graduated with honors from Arnot-Ogden Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Elmira in 1946. Among her classmates, Pat's favorite friend was Tommy Hilfiger's mother, Ginny.
Grateful and proud to be an American, Pat was patriotic and loved the USA. She was always proud that her father, brother, husband, both sons, and oldest granddaughter (and namesake, Patricia) had served in America's armed forces. During World War II
, Pat proudly wore her uniform as a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps while in nurses' training.
In 1947, Pat married Daniel S. Dempsey of Bolivar. Pat and Dan lived first in Bolivar for eight years and then moved to Coldenham in July 1955, where they put down roots and raised their six children. Over the next 50 years, persevering through some tough economic times, Pat and Dan together built up their business, Dempsey Steel Pipe Co. Inc., which is still in operation today and is run by Dan Jr. and his wife Judi. Pat served as vice president and secretary of the firm for 40 years.
Pat was happiest spending time with Dan and family, and she worked tirelessly at her most important job, being a mother. Mom was our greatest supporter and cheerleader in all our endeavors. Everything Mom did, she did for love. This was clearly apparent to all who knew Pat. Mom was an optimist and had a knack for putting an element of fun into even the most mundane tasks.
Before and especially after Dan's retirement in 1997, Pat and Dan traveled to every state in the United States and to Korea, where they visited their son Tim while in the U.S. Army there.
Along with her husband, Pat loved many kinds of music, especially big band, swing, and polka. Pat and Dan danced regularly at Spruce Lodge and the Middletown Elks Lodge
for many years. For the past 39 years, Pat and Dan were devoted fans of Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra. They traveled widely with the band and enjoyed the company of their dear friends, Jimmy and Barbara.
Pat was an avid bowler and an ardent sports fan in general, particularly enjoying baseball, basketball and football, and rooting for whatever teams her children were fans of, especially Notre Dame football.
A devout Catholic, Pat was a daily communicant and member of the Rosary Society and Ladies Guild at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, Montgomery, for many years. Pat was a founding member of the East Coldenham Parent Teacher Association in 1960 and active with PTA for over 20 years. She was elected fire commissioner in the Coldenham Fire District in 1988 and served two terms in office. Pat was a charter member of Radio Vision in Middletown, where for 27 years she read the news on the radio every Tuesday for the visually impaired. She was also a volunteer at Castle Point VA Hospital for several years.
Pat and Dan lived in their home on Maple Avenue, Coldenham, right behind the pipeyard, for 50 great years. When Dan's health declined in 2005, Pat and Dan moved to Glen Arden. After 65 years of marriage, Dan predeceased Pat in 2012. The family extends sincere thanks to the staff at Glen Arden for graciously providing assistance and support to Pat. Many thanks also to the staff of the Health Care Center at Glen Arden for their kindness to Pat and to all of the family while Pat was a resident there the past two months.
Pat is survived by two sons, Dan Jr. (Judi) of Coldenham and Timothy (Ae Sim) of Montgomery; four daughters, Keara O'Dempsey of New Paltz, Kathleen D. Redden of Olean, MaryEllen (Douglas) Glorie of Marlboro and Maureen (Louis) Miranda of Gallatin, Tenn.; six granddaughters, Patricia G. Dempsey, Mary Anne Dempsey, Mary Rose Fox, Erin Redden, Molly Redden and Helen Patricia Dempsey; three stepgranddaughters, Linda Parrella, Jill Vaughn and Jennifer Lister; two grandsons, Martin Fox and Patrick Fox; one great-granddaughter, Nejma Hamdi; cousin, Patricia Tracy Madden; and 26 nieces and nephews. Dear friends Virginia Dreyfus, Jean Trombley Dempsey, Marion Wild and Ruth McCarthy also survive Pat. She was godmother to Mary Rose Fox of Atlanta, Ga., and James Wild of Gardiner.
Pat was predeceased by her parents; her brother, William J. Anger; and her long-time bridge playing buddies, Helen, Florence and Mary Morrissey.
Pat will be dearly missed by family and those who knew her, for she was a kind, caring and cheerful friend to all who had the privilege to know her.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at Millspaugh Funeral Home, 2 Bank Street, Walden. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday (Nov. 3, 2013) at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Bullville. There will also be a visitation at 9:30 a.m. and a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 6, 2013) at Guenther Funeral Home, 51 S. Main St., Portville, followed by burial at Saint Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Pat's memory are requested to the Humane Society of Walden, 2489 Albany Post Road, Walden, NY 12586; Montgomery Food Pantry, P.O. Box 423, Montgomery, NY 12549; Friendship-Nile Historical Society, P.O. Box 466, Friendship, NY 14739; or the Friendship Free Library, 40 W. Main St., Friendship, NY 14739.