Bettendorf - Patricia Joan (Kennedy) Showalter "shuffled off this mortal coil" July 24, 2021, at her home surrounded by family. At 94, she outlived her four siblings and her numerous contemporaries as she marveled and mourned her longevity in equal measure.
A Christmas Day present born December 25, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey, to John F. and Kathryn Loretta (Hall) Kennedy, she found herself at the dawn of television, the height of Charlie Chaplin's silent slapstick, and smack dab in the middle of prohibition. Calvin Coolidge was president and Gene Austin topped the charts with his famous "Bye-bye, Blackbird."
"Where somebody waits for me" was the love of her life, David Martin Showalter, on a blind date set up by lifelong friends, the late Bernice and Charlie Balzer. After a short courtship, followed by marriage on November 5, 1949, at the old Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Rock Island, 58 years of diapers and diplomas, David preceded her in death on February 5, 2007. His wait is finally over.
Dictated more by economic survival rather than social justice, Patricia found herself cast in a role she was very proud of, an early pre-feminist. Her work weeks started at the Rock Island Arsenal, then to admitting at the former Mercy Hospital before ultimately retiring from the auditing department of Oscar Mayer after 20-plus years of service and countless employee-discounted hams. She was a member of Holy Family Parish and stood proudly by the side of her life-long member of NAACP, David. She was also a faithful supporter of countless Catholic charities and never turned away neighbor kids selling candy and raffle tickets door-to-door or a stranger needing help. She was a devoted Democrat who expressed deep regret that she would not see a female president in her lifetime.
Her proudest and most challenging accomplishment was her role as a mother to five kids, all of whom enjoyed their front row seats to the craziness, fun, tears, and successes along the journey. Her last role found her as the sarcastic but over-the-top loving Grandmother to 14 grandkids and Great-Grandmother to five. She adored her many nieces & nephews and considered all her progeny above average. She was everyone's favorite; all her family members will miss her infectious sense of humor, her razor-sharp wit, and easy laughter while she held court in the kitchen of their modest yet rich-in-love little house on 15th street in Davenport.
She always managed to quell the loudness of life by escaping into her mystery novels with her faithful kitty Fagan occasionally flicking his tail in her face. She preferred reading to other past times. She believed tales shadowed by a bewildering turn of events to be the best kind of stories. Reading, she said, "was the very best escape" and often led to countless creations of her own imagination. Luckily for loved ones, her numerous cards, short stories, and "paper-plate poems" live on.
Patricia was a proficient crossword puzzle solver, opera lover, grammarian, and dark poetry admirer. She loved feeding all visitors to her Bettendorf home and reveled in offering up tidbits from her treasure trove of quotes and sayings drawn from memory to suit any occasion. She kept notebooks, address books, and boxes of stationary overflowing with passages or stanzas she had copied out in her near-perfect penmanship. Of these many collected gems perused by her family after her passing, this one hit home:
"It was Gandhi who stated that grief over the loss of a loved one was perhaps our greatest delusion, for we retain within us the essential character of that relationship. That it is only form, not substance, which is something most of us can only appreciate as a consequence of the experience and grief, not instead of grieving."
Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Friday, July 30, 2021, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Davenport. Additional visitation will be held from 10:00-10:30 AM, Friday, prior to Mass at Church.
Burial will be in the Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island. Visitation will be held Thursday from 4 until 6 PM at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home with a prayer service being held at the conclusion of visitation. Instead of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of the Mississippi Valley to honor her husband's fight with the disease.
She leaves behind her children Brian Showalter, David "Bruce" Showalter, Bettendorf, John and Marla Showalter, Woodland Hills, California, Joyce Rivera, Rock Island, Tracy and Dan Brune, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
In addition to her husband, David, she was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Mary Jo Miller, Margaret Mary Maloney, and Jack Kennedy. May they rest in peace.