Beloved mother, Grandma, aunt, cousin, friend
Patti passed away on October 12, 2021, at the age of 89. Fiercely independent, quietly enduring, and tenacious to the end, Pat led an independent life having chosen not to marry and rather to adopt and raise a child on her own. Defying many societal norms of her time, Pat’s determination is a theme that guided her life.
Born July 13, 1932, Pat was the youngest of three daughters of Edward and Irene Ratajack. Pat was a lifelong resident of St. Paul and grew up in the city’s vibrant East Side neighborhood. Raised as a devout Catholic, Pat received her Holy Sacraments at the Church of Saint Casimir, a church founded to serve the needs of Polish American immigrants. As a young teenage girl, Pat implored her parents and convinced them to allow her to attend Villa Maria Academy for Girls boarding school in Frontenac, MN.
Her fiercely independent streak fueled her ability to not only overcome significant health challenges throughout her life but to live on her own until just this past August. Pat battled and conquered cancer twice in two different chapters of her life -- once as a young woman and again recently in 2017. A tiny sprite of a person, Pat was unstoppable. Despite debilitating chronic conditions resulting from surgical and oncology treatment, Pat persevered and led a full and active life.
Steadfast and hard-working, Pat spent 40 years employed by Sperry/Univac/Unisys. After “retiring” in 1994, she spent the next 16 years delivering prescriptions for a family-owned pharmacy. She loved the freedom of driving all around the Twin Cities and suburbs.
Pat loved working in her yard and was mowing her own lawn, shoveling her own walkways and driving independently until just the past few years. Pat was immensely proud of her family, and leaves behind joyful memories. She could often be found proudly cheering on her grandsons as they played piano and drums and took part in sports interests. She particularly enjoyed taking her grandsons, Jack and Liam, to the movie theater despite the overwhelming nature of multi-screen theaters today and was also known to spoil her grandchildren with candy and sweets. She loved to take herself out to dinner at The Tin Cup’s or Davanni’s.
She will be remembered for her generosity with gifts and her love, her special delight in making lemon bars and molded candies for wedding and baby showers, her delight in a cup of Tom & Jerry’s holiday punch at Christmas, and the music of Roberta Flack.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Irene; sisters, Joyce and Betty; nephews, David, Tom, and Jim, and many lifelong friends. Her absence will leave a painful hole in the lives of those who survive her: daughter, Danielle (Jon) Carter; grandsons, Jack and Liam; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Memorial service will be 6 pm Wednesday, October 27 at BRADSHAW, 4600 Greenhaven Drive, White Bear, with visitation one hour prior. Private family interment at a later date. The family requests memorials to a charity of your choice, in lieu of flowers.
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