Obituary of Patricia Bratches
Patricia Aileen Kelly Bratches died peacefully in her home in Rye, NY on May 6, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was 88.
Born on March 26, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, Patricia (better known as Pat or Grammie Pat) was incredibly well loved.
Pat was raised by her parents, William R. and Theo Kelly, along with her sister Sharon, in Beverly Hills on the South Side of Chicago. The family moved to Mamaroneck, New York when Pat was 15. She attended Mamaroneck High School, where she was a cheerleader and fell in love with dancing and Walter's Hot Dogs. Her affinity for each stayed with her throughout her life.
Pat attended the College of New Rochelle, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. While in college, Pat began to turn her passion for dance into a profession, teaching at Camp Mohawk in White Plains during her summer break.
It was there she met her husband, Howard Bratches. Hoping to catch Pat's eye, Howard led his young campers in an army crawl through the middle of her dance class. It made Pat laugh - which is what Howard did every day of their 62-year marriage, until his passing in 2013.
Howard and Pat wed in Larchmont on May 16, 1951 and began their family. Daryl came first, soon followed by Janice, Beth, Kurt, and Kyle. The family of seven eventually settled in Rye in 1962.
Once in Rye, Pat became a big part of the community. She loved Christ's Church, where she could be found in her favorite pew every Sunday. She was involved in the Altar Guild, the Education for Ministry, the Vestry, and Neighbors in Christ. Outside of the Church, she participated in Rye Women's Interfaith, Outreach, and the 26th TWIG. She was a member of Manursing Island Club and an avid participant in the Rye Ree's senior exercise class.
Pat also continued to dance throughout her life. She began teaching at The Steffi Nossen School in Scarsdale, eventually bringing her four daughters along with her to class. In 1975, she started the Rye School of Dance with her daughter, Daryl. Two quickly became four as Kyle and Beth joined the family business. Pat continued to teach alongside her daughters until her 60th birthday. After she retired, Pat never missed a performance, cheering on her daughters and granddaughters at every single show. Her legacy lives on, with Rye School of Dance just completing its 41st year. Pat touched the lives of so many students - and her family - through her love of dance.
Pat's creativity extended beyond the dance studio. She loved writing poetry, and you could often find her at her kitchen table with glasses around her neck and a number two pencil in hand. When she wasn't working on a poem, she was working on a crossword puzzle - and she was always simultaneously baking oatmeal cookies.
Pat also loved being outdoors. She was an avid gardener. Her grandchildren always received fresh cut peonies for their dance performances. She could often be found exploring the Marshlands or walking and biking around town. On Block Island, where the family vacationed, Pat was always biking around the island. She was also the first to lead her grandchildren in a rock climb up the Mohegan Bluffs or out to the beach to watch a storm roll in.
Pat was the best wife, mother, and grandmother you could ever hope for. She was quick to laugh. She loved adventure. She loved her family, and we loved her.
Life will not be the same, but we are all so happy that she is at last reunited with Howard. We know they are up there laughing.
Pat will be remembered every day by her sister Sharon, her children Daryl, Janice, Beth, Kurt, and Kyle, their spouses Bob, Barb, David, Beth, and Mark and her eleven grandchildren, Kate, Meggie, Brendan, Billy, Taylor, Christy, Chelsea, Wills, Kevin, Charlie, and Johnny.
A memorial service will be held at Christ's Church in Rye on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations in Pat's memory may be made to Christ's Church in Rye.
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