Patricia “Pat” Ann Voelker, age 71, died on Sunday, May 28 at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. Her family was present to comfort and support her at the time of her death. Pat was born in Goodman, WI on February 26, 1946, the daughter of Louise (Hawley) and Robert Patraw. She grew up in Goodman and attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Pat married Marv Voelker in 1966, beginning a 51-year marriage and shared life together. Before moving to Cochrane, WI in 1987, she lived in Houghton, MI; Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Niagara Falls, NY; and Indianapolis, IN.
Pat’s life was marked by zest, style, warmth, fine food, good books, and love of travel with family. She relished her visits to Japan, France, The Bahamas and numerous cities in the United States including Seward, AK; San Francisco, CA; Silver City, NM, and New Orleans, LA. Her life was enriched and enlightened by hosting exchange students from France and Japan.
Pat’s compassion and dedication to helping those in need were apparent in her work for Cochrane Lutheran Home and St. Michael’s Lutheran Home in Fountain City, WI. She also worked at Rudy’s Red Owl in Cochrane, where she established a sense of community with every customer she encountered. She volunteered at the not-for-profit Ye Olde School House Shoppe in Buffalo City, WI and served as a board member there during its early years.
She is survived by her husband Marv Voelker of Cochrane, WI; daughters Kristina Voelker-Riley (Timothy) of La Crosse, WI; and Jennifer Voelker of St. Paul, MN; and her grandchildren Theo Pupillo, Max Pupillo, and Luc DeRosia-Voelker. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Keith Patraw.
Family and friends are invited to a memorial gathering to celebrate Pat’s life on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM at the Talbot Family Funeral Home in Alma, WI.
In lieu of flowers and plants—and in keeping with Pat’s belief in helping those in need—donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by visiting www.stjude.org or calling 800-822-6344.