Patricia 'Patsy' Marian Rostkowski (nee Bauserman)
Nov. 21, 1938 - March 4, 2009
In this photo, the Patsy that we all love is revealed frozen in time. Full of beauty in body and spirit, she "lit up" every room. Full of joy, laughter and zest for life; always excited about what lies ahead in the next moment and eternally, she now seems to bid us, Ďtil we meet again. Unwilling to acknowledge any power that cancer had over her life, Patsy persevered and ran the good race. She finally gave up her cancer-ravaged body to the earth and was instantly united with her Lord on Wednesday, March 4, 2009.
Born in the "Friendly Swiss Community" of Berne, Ind., on Nov. 21, 1938, to Brice and Marcella Bauserman, she was destined to break the ties that bound her to that community. But, she would later reveal that her earliest recollections of life in Berne included an understanding of and faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Patsy was "born again" shortly after she was born and as soon as she understood the message of the cross.
A gifted high school violinist, Patsy studied music at Moorehead State University, Kentucky, and Heidelberg College, Ohio. She returned to Berne to work in her fatherís bank until she was asked by her best friend (Georgia) to go on a blind date with an Air Force lieutenant at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio (WPAFB). When agnostic Al saw Patsy standing at the top of the staircase in Georgiaís home, he gulped and silently (and amazingly) asked God to not let him screw up. He didnít, and Al married Patsy at Chapel No. 2 at Wright Patterson AFB on May 5, 1962.
The Air Force and Patsy were a perfect match. In unfamiliar situations involving very non-Berne-like people, Patsy blossomed. As Al cowered from general officers, Patsy enchanted them. She relished social interaction and always wanted to be surrounded by new and interesting people. As vice president of a California Air Force Officerís Wives Club (OWC) and singing in the Air Force "Skylarks" womenís chorus, Patsy became OWC member par-excellence. If not for Patsy, Al would probably not have stayed on. Daughter Natalie Marie was born at WPAFB on March 21, 1964.
A major disappointment for Patsy was Alís retirement after 21 years of service. But she continued bringing light into the lives of all those she encountered. In 1982, a pastor in Wisconsin, where Al worked for GE Medical Systems, watered the seed that Patsy persistently sowed, and Patsy and Al truly and finally became one. Al and Patsy joined the wonderful community of believers at Highview Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Dousman. And, Patsy got her Bachelor of Science at Carroll College in Waukesha.
Al and Patsy retired from GE and moved to York County, Va., in 1997. Here she joined the Hilton Village Womenís Club, the "Red Hat Society" (where she was "crowned Queen") and continued her love for the Air Force by directing the Langley AFB Skylarks. Members of Northampton Evangelical Presbyterian Church for a short time, Al and Patsy settled in with the Menchville Baptist Church family who have been true children of God in their difficult time. She loved the small group of Christians that met weekly at her home. Patsy also sang in the choir and directed the "Son" singers at Menchville.
Patsy is survived by her husband of 47 years, Alexander "Al"; her daughter, Natalie Hill and her husband Jonathan Hill; granddaughter, Bobbi Hill; brothers, Michael Bauserman and his wife, Kay Bauserman, and Julian Bauserman; sister-in-law, Marie Christianson and her husband, Charles Christianson; and many aunts, nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday March 8 at Menchville Baptist Church with the Rev. Jim Weston officiating. Interment will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 10 in Arlington National Cemetery.
Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home, Newport News, Va.