Patricia Ann (Hammond) Salagovich
October 26, 1941 - June 7, 2021
On Monday, June 7, 2021, our precious mother Patricia Salagovich passed away peacefully surrounded by family. She was 79 years old. Born October 26, 1941, in Springdale Township, Michigan, Pat was the youngest of five daughters to Jesse and Lillian (Mansfield) Hammond. When she was six weeks old, the family relocated to Elberta, as her father Jesse worked on the Ann Arbor Railroad car ferries. Pat attended the Elberta School there through fourth grade, then transferred to Benzonia where she graduated from Benzonia High School in 1959.
Pat met the love of her life, George Salagovich, at a summer dance in Empire. George was serving in the US Army and was stationed at the Empire Air Force Base. They married on January 3, 1961 and had four children. "Sal" and Pat traveled with their children for 17 years and loved meeting new friends wherever the Army life took them. In the summer of 1977, they moved to the Frankfort area to raise their children where Pat had grown up.
Pat always wanted to be a nurse. She started as a candy striper while in high school and then as a nurse's aid. She attended and graduated from LPN school at Northwestern Michigan College. During this time, she met Sylvia (Johnson) Wantz who became one of her lifelong friends. After marriage, living in military housing, and with three young children at home tugging at her skirt seams, Pat continued her nursing education in Lawton, Oklahoma. She completed her studies and graduated from Cameron University, becoming a Registered Nurse in early 1977.
Upon Pat's return to Benzie County in the early 1970's, she worked as a Public Health Nurse in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Benzie County. During this time Pat worked tirelessly as an advocate for women and children, struggling families, teens, senior citizens, and rural communities. She was well-known and well-respected for her commitment to public health and the many programs that benefited all citizens. Pat lost her husband Sal far too early, but she never missed a step in her drive to make a difference to the thousands of lives she touched through her work at the Health Department. Some of her many accolades involve working with alzheimers and senior care in rural areas, premarital counseling and education, the prevention of child abuse and neglect, teen pregnancy, substance abuse programs, HIV/AIDS/hepatitis education, family planning, vaccine prevantable illnesses, tubercolosis prevention and awareness, infant growth and health, and much more. Pat proudly partnered with Zonta, the Commission on Aging, Benzie County's Emergency Planning Committee, the CDC, and countless other organizations to better the lives of the county's residents. Her impressive resume wasn't the only thing that left a mark on people she met and worked with, it was her fire and grit. In her desire to offer families the best and most accessible health care and education possible, Pat led with love and fought with passion, always striving for the best resources and programming for her clients and patients. She retired in 2003 after 27 years with the Health Department.
After retirement Pat was able to spend more time doing what she loved. Golf was a passion for her, and she spent treasured time at the Frankfort Golf Course, playing on leagues, golfing with her husband Sal, and her many friends. She also loved bowling and was in several leagues with friends, competing and gathering at the Ten Pin in downtown Beulah and the Frontenac Bowling Alley in Frankfort. Pat was also able to spend more time with her family which was her pride and joy. She was blessed with beautiful, loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her home was the gathering place for family moments and holidays, sharing her favorite recipes and lots and lots of gift giving, which was Pat's love language. Whether it was for a family member, a friend, or the Airway Oxygen man, Pat loved honoring others with gifts and cards, spoiling everyone she knew.
She is survived by her children Richard (Trina Wordon) Salagovich of Traverse City and Susan (Steve) Hammon of Frankfort. Her best friend and sister, Ella Reid and husband, Don. Her grandchildren Melissa (Jake) Kuhlman, Joseph (Angelica) Salagovich, Michael (Dani) Salagovich, Mathew Salagovich, Evan Hammon, Luke Hammon, and Elliott Hammon. Also, her great-grandchildren Merle, Eleanor, and Violet. She was blessed with an extensive family and leaves behind many wonderful, dear nieces and nephews. Pat's treasured nephew Jim McConnel spent a lot of time with her in the last few years and helped her remain living at home where she wanted to be, even though her health was failing.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband George, her son Jeffrey who died at age 8 and her son Michael who passed away in 2006. Her parents Jesse and Lillian, in-laws George and Rose Salagovich. Her sisters Tillie Blacklock, Dorothy Moore, and Doris Mapson. Her dear friend Sylvia Wantz. And her friend and partner Neil Schwartz.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Munson Medical Center and the Munson Hospice House for the incredibly expert care they provided to Pat in her last few weeks of life. Being a lifelong nurse herself, Pat recognized quality in the medical field and talked fondly of the respect and loving attention she received at both facilities.
You are invited to celebrate Pat's life at a memorial service on June 18, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort. Visitation with the family will be held at 2:00 p.m. A coffee hour will be held after the service at Trinity Lutheran's Johnson Hall. Burial of ashes will take place later this summer at Springdale Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Munson's Hospice House in Traverse City, Michigan. Arrangements by Jowett Family Funeral Home.
Published by Manistee News Advocate on Jun. 11, 2021.