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Patricia Kelly Witte(1926 - 2012)

Patricia Kelly Witte, 86

St. Cloud

June 29, 1926 - Dec. 19, 2012

Pat Witte died Wednesday, Dec. 19 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday, Dec. 27 at the Cathedral of Saint Mary in St. Cloud. Private interment at St. Marcus Cemetery, Clear Lake, MN. Visitation - 4:00 to 8:00 PM, Wednesday, Dec. 26 at the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home, St. Cloud and prior to the Mass at 10:00 am. Arrangements are being made with Miller-Carlin Funeral Home in St. Cloud.

Pat was born in Valley City, ND to Fred J. and Mary (O'Brien) Kelly. Her life took her to Billings, MT, St. Cloud in the 1930s, Minneapolis, Edina, StokesWood country home near Clearwater in 1974 and, back to St. Cloud in 1996. She attended Minneapolis Washburn High School, the University of Minnesota and graduated from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, BA Community affairs, 1974. She was employed by the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and in 1948 she married her "boss," Robert Witte, and became the love of his life and his very best friend.

Small of stature but great in accomplishment; Pat served for more than 50 years as a volunteer for church and civic organizations. She was a member of the Board and a Vice President of the Minneapolis League of Catholic Women where she chaired the Biennial League Art Exhibit, initiated studies that developed into the opening of the League's Girls Group Home in 1965 and Boys Group Home, 1966 - both of which she chaired.

She served in various capacities for Hennepin County United Way, including the Allocations Committee Vice Chair and Chair of Member Agency Relations committee and America Indian Survey. She served on the Board of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and as the Chair of its Library and Literature Committee. She was a member of Hennepin County Community Health and Welfare Council. For Catholic Welfare Services of St. Paul-Minneapolis she was the Director of Volunteer Services, 1969-1975, Chair of St. Joseph Home for Children and Director of Branches I and II of Catholic Welfare, serving the American Indian Community.

She was Religious Education Coordinator for St. John the Evangelist Parish, Interlachen Park, 1968-1972. She received the Hennepin County Health and Welfare Volunteer award in 1975 and the Archbishop's Volunteer of the Year Award in 1980. In the St. Cloud area, Pat was Religious Education Coordinator at St. Marcus Church in Clear Lake and chaired Adult Preparation for Baptism and Decoration committees. In 1990 she was Temporary Administrator for St. Marcus Church during the pastor's sabbatical leave in Rome.

As a member of St. Mary's Cathedral she served a number of capacities including Chair of the Hospitality Committee. She is the author of "St. Mary's - Mother Church of St. Cloud: the History of St. Mary's Cathedral." She is also the author of five other books, including, "The Centennial History of St. Marcus Church" and "Indomitable Ladies: The Story of St. Cloud's Reading Room Society." She was a board member of Stearns History Museum and Minnesota Orchestra at St. Benedicts. She is currently a member of the St. Cloud Chapter of the Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Reading Room Society of St. Cloud, the Friday Book Club and the Sunday Discussion. In Edina, she was a member of the Minneapolis Women's Club and the League of Women Voters. In totally different areas, in 1977 she started the StokesWood Weaver and produced numerous weavings, including hangings for area churches. And she became the family poet, creating appropriate poetry for special occasions.

But, as she noted in one of her writings, her "major role in life is wife, mother, grandmother and (now) great-grandmother." Volunteering came second. She loved her family, her friends and "the world." She and husband Bob traveled extensively and at their StokesWood country home, hiked, skied, canoed, gardened and entertained, displaying Pat's gourmet cooking talents.

Pat is survived by her husband of 64+ years, Bob; her sons Robert Jr. (Nancy) and Richard; four grandchildren Nathan, Derek, and Kristin Witte and Parker Carlson; and four great-grandchildren Coleman, Theo, Rosalie and Emily Witte. She was preceded in death by brothers Frederick, Donald and Reverend Robert Kelly, SJ; sisters Kathleen Belanger and Mary Louise O'Ryan.

A special thank you to the nurses who took such good care of Pat during her long stay at St. Cloud Hospital. Memorials may be given to the donor's choice or to St. Mary's Cathedral or Saint Benedict.

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Published in the St. Cloud Times from Dec. 23 to Dec. 24, 2012
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