Patsy Widener

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Patsy A Widener
June 18, 1935 - August 1, 2016
Patsy A. Widener, 81 of Caldwell, went to be with her Lord and Savior on August 1, 2016. Her crutches quickly gave a visual picture of being handicapped, but her cheerful disposition quickly made you forget them. Her pleasant smile and willingness to be the first to extend a helping hand will be missed by many.
Pat was born in Missoula, Montana to Harold and Mildred Kinsey. When Patsy was seven years old, she and her mother came to Caldwell to live with her grandmother on the family farm. It was during the war years, and her father went to Portland to work in the shipyards. At Age fourteen, Patsy was a freshman at Caldwell High School and had polio. She became very ill and spent many months in a coma. When she came out of her coma, her speech and walking ability were severely affected causing her to miss her freshman year of high school. She returned for one year on crutches and although she maintained an "I can do it!" attitude she wasn't able to finish. Patsy was taught to drive by her mother, and always credited her mom's patience and determination for that.
Patsy married James A. Smith in 1952. She gave birth to one son, Christopher Kinsey Smith. They made their home in Caldwell and started the business Valley View Auto Body and Towing. In 1965 they were divorced and later married her husband of 41 years, Warren Widener. She helped raise his two daughters, Ruthy Nye and Lois Simms.
While Patsy worked with exceptional children at the Merry Lynn School in Caldwell, an interest in teaching was sparked. She attended Boise Junior College completing her GED, then earned her bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She didn't stop there she continued a fifth year to earn a Special Education Degree. Pat commuted from Boise when she was hired by the Caldwell School District and taught a year at Lincoln Elementary. She later transferred to Van Buren as a Special Education Teacher and then taught first grade from which she retired. Her devotion to her students did not end there. She and her husband decided to move back to the family farm in Caldwell where she and her husband had a custom home built. Shortly thereafter they built the "Party Barn" with a hard wood dance floor where they hosted monthly Special Olympic Dances for many years.
Patsy enjoyed the time she spent with her son, Chris Smith, Canyon County Sheriff and his wife Becky at Deer Flat Church where she attended for about 10 years with them.
Pat's hobbies included gardening, reading, cooking, pets and wild birds. She spent a lot of her time in the yard and enjoyed being outdoors. She and Warren especially loved to travel across the United States with their RV. The biggest trip they enjoyed was to Alaska!
Patsy is survived by her son, Chris (Becky) Smith, step daughter Ruthie Nye, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Patsy had a wonderful relationship with God and always felt He was "in her corner", no matter what hardships she faced. She felt so blessed to be a part of the family of God, have a loving close family and to live in Idaho.
She especially loved spending time with her grandkids and making them laugh. She loved playing cards and board games with all of her kids. She almost always won the games because of her "creative rules"! Their eldest granddaughter, Aimee Cizmich lived with them through college and she attributes attending and finishing her education degree to her grandma and grandpa. Patsy also traveled to many rodeos throughout the State following Jill Chandler and Keri Smith-Sigman as they competed.
A memorial service for Patsy will be held August 18th, 10:30 a.m. at Deer Flat Church, 17703 Beet Road, Caldwell. Condolences may be shared with the family at

Funeral Home
Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 South Kimball Avenue
Caldwell, ID 83605
(208) 459-3629
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Aug. 14, 2016