Cancer has claimed yet another beautiful soul. A mom, wife, sister in-law, grandmother, friend and one kick-ass nurse, Kathleen Patera passed away at the age of 69. Born January 21st, 1952, in Willimantic, CT to Walter and Evelyn Frankiewicz.
Growing up in Willimantic, Kathy attended the Windham School system and graduated from Windham High School in 1970. In her younger days, she worked the courtesy desk at Shop n’ Shop and later at CBT and Fleet bank. She then went up the hill to Windham Community Memorial Hospital, and a 35-year career, starting in Medical Records, and then into nursing. Kathy went on to earn her LPN in 1983 from Windham Tech, her RN-BSN in 1989 from UConn, a MBA in 2004 at The University of Hartford, and Nurse Practitioner designation in 2009 from UConn. Nursing was a job she held near and dear to her heart, working in IV Therapy, Greer, Emergency Room, 4-Shea, ICU/CCU, Nursing Manager of 4-Shea and Hospital Nursing Supervisor. Her favorite department was the Cardiac Lab.
Kathy started the Lipid Clinic and operated the afternoon Cardiac Rehab program. Kathy bonded, not only with patients, but earned the respect of staff and physicians, and made countless friends. Eventually, catching the eye of one of her patients, Lenny Patera and not only did Lenny think she was heck of a nurse, Lenny married Kathy in 2007. After retiring from WCMH, Kathy moved on to the VA in Newington, CT, working in the Cardiology Dept as an APRN, and was honored to work with those who served our country.
After learning that she was to be a Gramma, work life was over. She retired from the VA to help with the new bundle of joy. She was a wonderful Gramma! Kathy not only cuddled and loved all of her grandchildren as hard as she could, but she was also all about garden time, water slide fun, trips to the beach, baking cookies, building Legos, holiday décor, sledding, and the list goes on. Kathy’s best assignment was being a Gramma, which we all know she did superbly, and she chose to follow the kids to school, tossing that stethoscope back on to become the school nurse at Saint Mary’s/Saint Joseph School.
Kathy’s true joy was being home with Lenny at their home in Chaplin, Connecticut. Kathy loved her garden, riding her golf cart around the yard, sledding down the big hill, watching her hummingbirds, cooking, and entertaining. She loved to quilt, and although she never finished any of the projects, Kathy loved the idea that she would someday finish. Enjoying so much of live, Kathy traveled with her extended family to Finland, Latvia, Mexico, Las Vegas, and Jersey. Her favorite trip was touring Italy with Lenny and his family.
Kathy leaves behind her husband of 14 years, Leonard Patera; her two daughters, and their husbands, Tammy (Serwanski) and David Browning, and Kara (Serwanski) and Jason Green; two step-daughters and their spouses Dorrie (Patera) and Adam Doolittle, and Cheryl (Patera) and Clint Talbot; some amazing grandkids, Drew and Avery Green and Naiah, Navian & Nevadah Talbot. She also leaves behind her amazing sisters and brothers in-law Anna and Peter Crawford, Marie and Gerald Liskom, and Ronnie Patera.
Mom, Kathy, we are going to miss your laugh, your hugs, your pierogis, your procrastination, even your famous phrase of “I haven’t had a chance to do that yet” and of course, the classic “bite me.” We will miss you every single day!
The family would like to thank Dr. Lee (MD Anderson, TX), Dr. Kapadia (UConn Oncology) and Season’s Hospice. In lieu of flowers, in honor of Kathy’s love of nursing and research, we ask to make donations to MD Anderson, Houston, TX at gifts.mdanderson.org. To help aid in research and help fight Cholangiocarcinoma.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 @ 1:00pm at New Storrs Cemetery, 82 N. Eagleville Rd, Storrs, CT. The family will have a celebration of life, to be announced in Spring 2022.
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