Patricia Helen Caplis Thaggard
Patricia Caplis Thaggard died on July 11, 2021 in Missoula, following a long life and a short, second bout with cancer. She was 96.
Pat was born on May 1, 1925 at Thorton Hospital in Missoula to Edmund and Myra Caplis. She had two older sisters, Mary Ann and Alice, and a younger brother, Mike. Pat dearly loved her immediate family and her extended family of cousins, uncles, and aunts.
The Caplis family moved around the western United States during the Great Depression, as Ed took work where he could, but always came home to Missoula. Pat graduated from Lowell Elementary School and later from the Sacred Heart Academy in 1943. She subsequently attended the University of Great Falls.
Later, Pat moved to Washington D.C., where she held a variety of jobs. There, she met Percy "Pete" Thaggard. They married in 1958 and moved back to Missoula, where Pat essentially remained for the rest of her life. She and Pete divorced in 1975.
Pat had six boys-Jim (Nancy), Steve, Joe (Pam), Peter (Tierney), John, and Robert (Sharon). A wonderful parent, she thoroughly enjoyed her children, believing it better to spoil the child and spare the rod. She delighted in her sons' friends, wives, and girlfriends.
Pat worked skillfully in a variety of jobs in Missoula, ranging from the School of Nursing to the Missoula County Sheriff's Department to the Missoula County Clerk of Court's Office. In all of her jobs, Pat developed friendships that lasted throughout her life, including those with her friends Jan Dietz, Loretta Amos, and Laura Driscoll.
Pat was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, participating actively in the parish as a Eucharistic minister and RCIA mentor for decades. Outside the church walls, Pat expressed her faith in the way Jesus insists-always demonstrating a true love for all the people and animals she encountered.
Since she was Irish, Pat adored everything to do with language and wordplay. Pat read avidly from an early age, expropriating any book within her reach. She loved poetry of all varieties, composing a great deal of her own poems. Pat was an incorrigible punster who also thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of a good crossword puzzle. Her sense of humor remained with her to the end.
Pat's sisters Mary Ann and Alice, as well as her son Steve, preceded her in death. Pat is survived by her brother Mike (Karen), sons Jim, Joe, Peter, John, and Robert, nine grandchildren (Anna Sage, Robert Thaggard (Courtney), Sara Kotecki (Curtis), Rachel Melancon (Sarah), Alanna McGlone (Ryan), Alex Merkle, Alex Thaggard, Aidan Thaggard, and Ellington Thaggard), and three great-grandchildren (Kieran Sage, Wyatt McGlone, and Gracie McClone), and many nephews and nieces.
The Thaggard family thanks Pat's many friends for the love they gave to her throughout her life. The family also thanks the staff and residents of the Missoula Manor, Pat's home for the last few years of her life, as well as Partner's Hospice for the fine care its caregivers provided to Pat in her final weeks.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that everyone simply do a gratuitous kindness for a stranger. Pat would love such a tribute to her memory.