Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Service
720 E Long Street
Columbus, OH 43203
(614) 258-9549
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Patricia Ann Saunders

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Patricia Ann Saunders Obituary
Saunders Patricia Ann Saunders, aka "Ma Pat", was born in a country home at 4:15 a.m. Saturday December 24, 1938. Ma Pat's mother, Dorothy Hixon, told stories of how determined she was growing up. Even with her humble character, Ma Pat kept her mother on her toes. Many stray kitties and puppies made their way into their country home. Before traveling to Heaven on March 5, 2017, she experienced immeasurable adventures; some filled with great happiness, while others offered lessons learned. This is a time to celebrate for Ma Pat. Her beloved parents and her handsome son Rem Tivis Skeens are together in Heaven reminiscing and drinking a beverage of their choice. Ma Pat attended school at McClain High School in Greenfield, located in the hills of south central Ohio (yes, Ohio has hills). She often took pride in being a bit of a "hillbilly." She would skip gym class because she was so bashful and, by the way, hated math. After high school, Ma Pat worked many jobs (because her husbands didn't) that created opportunities for building character and self-confidence. Finding love and marrying three times were followed by three divorces. Ma Pat consistently boasted that her marriages brought her the most wonderful gifts of all. These gifts were her three children, Troy Lee (Chun) Purdin, Rem Tivis Skeens, and Deena (Thomas) Deal. These gifts begot additional ones: 12 grandchildren, Christian Lee (Rihana) Purdin, Tamara Mouzon, DeAnn Deal, Devin Deal, Korianna Purdin, Andrew Hollingshead, Rem Michael Skeens, Delamar Deal, Donika Deal, Daniel James Dean Deal, DaLeecy Deal and DaLeah Deal. Further begot was great grandson, Lane (son of Tamara Mouzon); and one adored and soon to beget, great grand baby from Christian Lee and Rihana Purdin in September, 2017. Funny storywhen Christian Lee (oldest grandchild) was learning to talk, he could not say grandma (he can now). As a result, he invented the nickname Ma Pat. The name stuck with all the family and many others. She grew to love it! Ma Pat was very appreciative to receive her Associates of Applied Science from Columbus Technical Institute in 1986. Bravely, she did not stop there. She proudly earned her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Dominican College in 1989 (go MaPat)! Normally, conquering college would have opened doors to other career opportunities. However, after several interviews, she decided to remain as a Teaching Assistant at Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, where she retired in 2003. She realized then that her passion was with her students. Plus, she had developed trust and friendships with co-workers that were irreplaceable. Ma Pat loved to travel! She visited her son, Troy Lee and family in Germany on three different occasions. In Germany, she walked a 10KM volksmarch and danced on tables at a wine fest. She also traveled to Austria, Czech Republic and went camping in Italy. In the US, she loved the Native American Indian culture. She traveled through Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico and even made it to Mexico. Perhaps, her favorite place was Cherokee, North Carolina. She loved the Powwows there, shopping and watching/listening to the creek out back of the motel. The stories she shared from the visits were to put it in her words, "a hoot"! Ma Pat always had a hidden stash of Hershey Kisses, so she never had to worry that someone might eat the last one. Kisses were Ma Pat's favorite food, not favorite sweet but favorite food. Ma Pat has requested memorial donations to: Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation, Attn: Ally Klinefelter, P.O. Box 16810, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6801 (Memo line: Sickle Cell Program). Please join us for Ma Pat's Ceremony of Life at 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, 2017 in the chapel of DIEHL-WHITTAKER FUNERAL SERVICE, 720 E. Long St., where her family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until the start of service. To share a special memory or express condolences to Ma Pat's family, please visit her online memory book at www.diehl-whittaker.com/obits

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 22, 2017
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