Here is a - Scoping It Out - column on Pat Conlin penned by Thomas A. Kvamme
Shared : courtesy of the Williston Herald
Scoping It Out - Williston Herald 09/10/20
Drive By Goodbye set for Sept. 20 in Williston
Pat Conlin will be honored for her 67 years of service
It's always hard to say goodbye, especially to someone who has been a huge part of the Williston community for a very long time.
With this being a time of virtual hugs, the CHI St. Alexius Hospital Auxiliary has decided to step things up a notch.
CHI St. Alexius Williston and the Hospital Auxiliary will be joining hands to honor long-standing member Pat Conlin, who is going to be making a move to Florida.
Pat will be honored at a Drive By Goodbye that is set for 2-4 p.m. on September 20.
This will all take place at the main entrance to the hospital.
We have learned Pat will be relocating to closer to family in early October.
Pat confirmed her residence will be in Niceville, Florida, living at the home of her daughter Colleen and her husband Mikel Miller.
Mikel retired twice from the U.S. Air Force and now travels to all parts dealing in navigation for airplanes and ships.
His family spent time at the Fortuna Air Base and that led to the couple meeting as juniors at Williston High School.
The shift to Florida came to be after Pat had spent a couple months in the sunshine, as she had been doing on a regular basis.
"We loved the area and the people," said Pat.
However, this time around, with COVID-19 directing a hit on the lives of many, it was determined by her children that their mother would not be flying at this time.
Actually Pat had earlier arrived in Utah, where daughter Maureen and her husband Tim Hamilton make home.
Pat ended up staying with Maureen and Tim for a couple additional months and then, she was given a ride by automobile back to her home in Williston.
Over the past few months Pat has been receiving help from a number of family members, as she narrows down her travel items to her new residence.
Her walls at her Williston home are filled with pictures that serve as memories for Pat, who will be 96 years young on December 9.
Perhaps we should have told you earlier, Pat and her late husband Clem, raised a total of 10 children.
If you think Pat will get lonely in Florida, think again as she has 31 grandchildren, to go along with 55 great grand children to keep in touch with.
"I still send them all birthday cards and they call every now and then, as they all know who I am," said Pat, with a chuckle.
Other family members include daughter Kitty, who along with her husband Don Speranza, run a Bed & Breakfast, out west in Skamokawa, in the state of Washington.
Son Tom and his wife Kathy, "with Tom continuing to work very hard," as a lawyer in the Minneapolis area.
Daughter Jan Conlin is married to Gene Goetz and is in a partnership in a law firm in, also Minneapolis.
Meanwhile Tim, who worked in the furniture business locally for a very long time, lives right across the street from his mother, along with his wife Liz.
"They have done a great job of taking care of me and now it's someone else to step in," said Pat.
The oldest son Mike and his wife Carol now reside in Bismarck, after Mike retired as an airline pilot based in Denver.
Pat noted Mike moved to Bismarck for retirement due to the excellent medical facilities in that city.
Son Dennis passed away 12 years ago, while his wife Rena lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Mary Pat passed away 33 years ago from Multiple Sclerosis.
Tracy died after an automobile accident left her residing in Bethel Lutheran Home for 19 years.
Pat's husband Clem, who passed away in 1980, began Conlin's Furniture along with his father Edward.
Pat has been a volunteer at the local hospital for 67 years.
She told us she joined the Hospital Auxiliary back when it was Mercy Hospital in 1952 and continues today as CHI Williston.
She recalled her joining as, "it was at the time our number five child Tim was born."
She has been very active ever since and added, "I'm going to miss it."
But with that being said, she quickly added, "I still have a little bit of life in me,"
coming from a lady who will be four years shy of 100.
While she is going to miss all of her "wonderful friends" in Williston, Pat noted it was "time to go before I end up in Bethel Home."
As a matter of fact, after a recent fall, she is hoping to get back up and into the swing of golf real soon.
"If I can swing." there will be golf, if not the card game Bridge will be high on her entertainment schedule, along with time in the sun.
LIFE TIME MEMBER
Pat is a life member of the Williston Hospital Auxiliary and is a charter member of the organization, which first started as Mercy Hospital Auxiliary.
We learned she has served in every capacity on the Auxiliary Board and is a most willing participant in every Auxiliary endeavor.
This has included the likes of: Cardiac Capers, campaign drives, Garden Tour, Bedding sale, jewelry sale, Christmas bake sale, Charity Ball, Golf Marathon, Relay for Life and more.
EVEN PAID AHEAD
Hey, she has even paid forward for the 2020 Popcorn Sale since she will have moved by that date.
Ah yes, Cardiac Capers is a period of time we recall first meeting up with Pat's smiling face. that coming more than 30 years ago.
We seize this opportunity to send out a Scope Salute to Pat and her family.
On a personal note, we can tell you if there was a community event taking place, chances were pretty good Pat would be on hand to support the effort.
Now, with COVID-19, Pat told us she hasn't been out to a store since February.
You can bet this nasty virus has changed many lives.
TOP STATE HONOR
You might recall in an earlier column we told you about recognition of her involvement, as she was named North Dakota Auxilian of the Year in 2018.
Pat is proud of that fact that Clem was also a great supporter of the hospital and served on boards for years.
ADD PAT MEMORY
You are being asked to bring no presents or cards on September 20, however, officials are asking for you to write a personal "Pat Memory" on a recipe card or paper.
A basket will be available for collection of these memories.
Pat chuckled once again as she said, "I hope more than two cars come to drive through."
You had best believe there will be a large number of cars and people in line to slay thanks to this wonderful lady.
Long-time friend and auxiliary member Marilyn McGinley tells us her family has been friends since 1971 with the Conlin family.
"They opened their home immediately and of course St. Pat’s Day became an immediate connection," recalled Marilyn.
She added, "their entire family has a friendly charm that has been enjoyed by all of my family. We have celebrated many of Pat’s birthdays and I have promised to being a host for her 100th, but it has to be in Williston."
That my friends remains to be seen.
Thomas A. Kvamme is a former resident and long time sports editor and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.