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Patricia Loraine Stemler Wiley

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Patricia Loraine Stemler Wiley Obituary

Patricia Loraine Stemler Wiley

Born February 7, 1927 in Los Angeles, California.

Passed away November 11, 2009 in Watsonville, California

Pat moved north to Watsonville Corralitos area in September of 1945 with her mother, Dorothy Stemler and brother, Douglas Stemler. On November 16, 1946, Pat Married Newton Wiley. Together they raised six children: sons, Newton D. of Watsonville, Richard C. of Ventura, Thomas A. of Watsonville, Jack W. of Corralitos, Joel S. of Aromas, and a daughter, Kathryn E. Minier of Corralitos. Pat is survived by all six children, one son-in-law, four daughters-in-law, twelve grandchildren and one great grandson. Pat was preceded in death by her husband in December of 1998.

Upon the death of her mother in 1976, Pat took over the ownership and management of the world renowned Roses of Yesterday and Today. It became a family business with the involvement of her husband, Newt, and most of the children at one time or another. The display rose garden, established in the years following 1945, became famous for its plantings of old, rare, and unusual roses and was visited by travelers from all over the world.

Pat wrote twenty of the business's annual collectors' catalogs during her time of active ownership of the company. The company and catalog won many awards, both locally and nationally; the catalogs are housed in the Library of Congress. The company was named Business of the Year and Pat was honored as the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year in the early 1990s. The rose photographs, taken by Pat and son, Jack, appeared in many national garden publications throughout the years.

Upon her retirement in 1996, Pat's extensive and valuable rose book collection was gifted to the University of California at Santa Cruz to be use for rose scholar's study. Pat was active locally in a variety of organizations including the Watsonville, Woman's Club, Soroptimists, the P.E.O. Sisterhood and especially her church, the United Presbyterian Church, where she was a member of the Chancel Choir, Chancel Guild, Session Elder, and Clerk of the Session.

A Memorial Service will be held at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach St. Watsonville, California, Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to the United Presbyterian Memorial Fund. Mehl's Colonial Chapel has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Nov. 14, 2009
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