Patricia Elinor Mehl, age 72, from Breckenridge, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on the morning of July 2, 2016. At the time of her death, she resided at LB Homes in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where she was lovingly cared for by an excellent staff. The Mass of Christian Burial is at 1:00 PM, on Thursday, August 4, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Breckenridge with Father Joseph Backowski celebrating the Mass. There is a visitation on Friday, August 5, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM, at Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home in Breckenridge, followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 AM, in their chapel. The interment is at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery immediately following the memorial service. Deacon Doug Campbell will be officiating the Memorial Service.
Patty was born in Breckenridge on October 1, 1943, being the third child of Elinor and Bernard Mehl. Born developmentally disabled, Patty lived with her family at home and initially attended elementary school. After a few years, she moved to the St. Cloud Children's Home for several years of further education. Her mother, Elinor, was instrumental in creating the Association for Retarded Children of Wilkin County, and the Day Activity Center of Wilkin County. Patty benefited greatly from these programs; she worked and attended school at the Day Activity Center for many years, where she developed working skills and lifelong friendships.
Patty was a warm, interested, and friendly adult who was well-known in her community of Breckenridge. She was a prolifically creative person. Always busy, some of her hobbies included needlework, rug hooking, drawing and coloring, word games, volunteering, travelling, playing autoharp, walking, and visiting with family and friends. For most of her adult life, she showered lucky family and friends with her gifts of embroidery, always using an abundance of bright colors; she was a huge Elvis fan, owning many of his albums and all of his movies; she always had a 1, 000 or more piece puzzle set up on a card table in her apartment, where she would perfectly place each piece; she raised rabbits, a dog, parakeets and fish; best of all, Patty had an infectious giggle that made you laugh, too. When Patty was 40, she moved to her own apartment in Breckenridge, which became the highlight of her life. Patty worked at McDonald's, St. Francis Hospital kitchen, and at her father's business of Mehl's Flower Shop. For the last 31 years of her life, she was given exceptional care by the Wilkin County Group Home, where her devoted staff became like family, often having her spend holidays at their own homes.
Patty was a devoted Catholic and lifetime member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. The faith community was a precious part of who she was and her story would not be complete without them. They loved and accepted her unconditionally.
Patty is survived by all of her siblings and their families: Jim of Orcas Island, Washington; John of Battle Lake, Minnesota; Dorothy of Spokane, Washington; Mary of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Barb of Seattle, Washington; and Richard of New York City. She is preceded in death by her parents, Elinor and Bernard. Her family is enormously grateful for the devotion and care given to her by the following organizations: the Wilkin County Group Home, LB Homes of Fergus Falls, and Lakeland Hospice.
Patty Mehl Memorial Folder