The Oberlin community lost a native resident and lifelong supporter today when Mrs. Patricia B. Stetson, (nee Bailey), passed away at the age of 95 at her childhood home with her family by her side.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Mr. William Clifford Stetson, (1925 - 1997), and her son-in-law Scott Grills (Becky), (1959 - 2010). She is survived by her 6 children: Timothy (Karen) of Rochester, MI.; Mary Jo Kannen (William) of Oberlin; Thomas (Darlene) of Louisville, KY.; William, of Oberlin; Michael (Christina) of Livonia, MI.; and Rebecca Grills of Oberlin; Also 16 grandchildren: Michael, Stephen, Mark, Christopher, Drew, Lindsey, Patrick, Kenny, Emily, Jill, Rory, Michael Ryan, Matthew, Benjamin, Johnathan, and Samantha; 24 great grandchildren: Hannah, Noah, Ruby, Evie, Dash, Harper, Bella, Joey, Kennedy, Donovan, Grant, Mikayla, Ethan, Addison, Devon, Heidi, Scott, Hailey, Molly, Raelynn, Ryker, Rhemi, Maddox and Lennox; and one great great grandson, Braylen.
Pat was the only child of Josephine and George Bailey.
Josephine was a milliner and George was a farmer and prolific businessman in Oberlin. She was baptized at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oberlin, where, through the years she found deep comfort and meaning, starting particularly when she lost her devoted father at age 16. She made sure that her children received a Catholic education and she remained active in Sacred Heart Parish throughout her life.
As a child, Pat attended Oberlin schools, but each winter she would travel with her parents to St. Petersburg, FL. where her father bought cattle to ship back to his farm in Oberlin for his meat market business. Graduating from Oberlin High School in the class of 1946, Pat cherished the relationships she had with her classmates, and always helped with their reunions held every 5 years in Oberlin. At the time of her death she was one of the last four remaining members of her class.
She and Bill both graduated from The Ohio State University in Aug. 1950, having met previously at Baldwin Wallace College and having transferred to OSU. She earned a degree in Elementary Education. While at OSU she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, and recently became a 75-yr. member. Pat and Bill appreciated their OSU legacy and for many years their favorite “get-aways” were trips to Columbus with fellow alums to attend OSU football games.
Pat and Bill were married at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oberlin on December 27th , 1950. They soon became parents.
Pat was a natural at mothering. She was the epitome of family, social and community involvement, and encouraged her children to be the same.
While raising 6 children, she and Bill also ran the family business, The Sport Shop in Oberlin, (1958 to 1987). They also proudly and conscientiously managed three business properties and two residences in Oberlin that were handed down from her father. Pat thoughtfully chose tenants in the business district who would serve to represent the diverse and unique nature of Oberlin. She also enjoyed renting residential space to Oberlin College students, whose energy and quirkiness she found to be refreshing. In maintaining the family properties Pat always relied on goods and services found locally - always an Oberlin promoter.
Throughout the years Pat volunteered for many Oberlin organizations. including serving as Vice President of the Oberlin Visiting Nurse
Association and as President of the Allen Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She participated in many programs at Sacred Heart Church. She was interviewed as part of the Oberlin Oral HIstory Project, sharing many “only in Oberlin” stories; and was proud to say that she played a part in the long process to preserve Westervelt Hall.
After Bill’s death she helped with the annual Bill Stetson Memorial Golf Outing, bringing the community together every August for 20 years at the Oberlin Golf Club, with proceeds helping the Boys and Girls Club, The Oberlin Baseball Federation, and the J..B. Thomas/Oberli Schools Endowment for the Arts.
Pat valued lifelong connections to people and to Oberlin. She appreciated the good things that life had to offer, and she thrived on bringing people together to share in good times. Her absolute favorite activity in her later years was sitting in her rocker on the front porch, observing and commenting on all of the action on College Street and reveling in the visits with all who came up to join her, often reminiscing about the same scene nine decades previous.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Tuesday, March 14th at 10:00. Following Mass there will be a gathering with light refreshments at the church hall. Pat will be laid to rest privately in Brownhelm Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a contribution to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 410 West Lorain St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074, the Oberlin Heritage Center, 20 West Vine St., Oberlin, OH 44074; or Mercy New Life Hospice, 3500 Kolbe Rd., Lorain, OH 44053.
Online condolences can be made to www.cowlingfuneralhomeoh.com