Patsy Susan (DeWitt) Bowers, 81, of Swanton, died on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at home. Patsy was born on August 12, 1941, in Oakland, and she was the daughter of the late George Gideon and Martha (Lytle) DeWitt.
She was a devoted member of the Calvary Tabernacle Church in Accident. Patsy was an avid reader, enjoyed crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She always enjoyed spending time with her family.
She is survived by two sons, Ronald D. Bowers and wife Bonnie of Swanton and Brian E. Bowers and husband Robert Beckman of Oakland; a daughter, Vickie L. Weeks and husband Fred of Swanton; grandchildren, Jason Weaver, Megan Bowers and partner Bobby Smith, Amanda Beckman and husband Derek, Rachel Upperman and husband Derek, Brooke Rounds and husband Dean, Jessica Weeks and partner Kameron Kamp, Tyler Bowers, and Carter Bowers; great grandchildren, Hunter Park, Haylee Rounds, Madison Beckman, Mason Beckman, Wyatt Friend, Jayden Weaver and Emma Kate Upperman; a sister, Wilma Rodeheaver; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Paul Ronald "Ron" Bowers, in 2020; three sisters, Betty Harvey, Cleta Tasker, and Barbara Peck; and a brother, Gene DeWitt.
Friends will be received at the C & S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A., 21 N 2nd St., Oakland on Sunday, December 11, 2022, from 3 to 5 PM. A funeral service will be held in the Calvary Tabernacle Church, 27893 Garrett Hwy., Accident on Monday, December 12, 2022, at 11 AM with Bishop Pascal Crites officiating. Interment will follow in the Garrett County Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Hospice of Garrett County, PO Box 271, Oakland, MD 21550.
Family Tribute to Pat Bowers
If you asked me how I would describe my mom in a few words, God fearing, strong willed and stoic would quickly come to mind. Underneath that stoic exterior, she was a kind, loving mother with a heart of gold who tried her best to help family, church family and friends in a time of need.
Mom was a “tom boy in a dress” growing up as a child in the Sang Run area of Garrett County. She was the youngest of 5 children, all sisters and she could be just as rough and tumble as the boys growing up in her younger years. With only a year and half separating her and her closest sister, Barb, they bonded early in life as sisters often due and would become thick as thieves for the rest of their lives up until Barb’s passing on September 26, 2020.
For as long as I can remember, Mom and Aunt Barb would talk on the phone daily and sometimes more often depending on the happenings of the day. They would also carpool to church at least 3 times a week. This strong sisterly bond drew our families close together growing up, and I have very fond memories from time spent with my Aunt Barb, Uncle Ken and cousins Kendra and Michelle.
Mom’s parents, George and Martha, were God fearing people and introduced the Pentecostal religion to mom early in life. In fact, her parents were founding members of the Sang Run Pentecostal Church that I used to attend as a kid. With the help of my mom and dad this little church relocated to Accident, Maryland in the 1990’s and is currently known as Calvary Tabernacle. Mom also served as the church treasurer for several decades.
At the age of 13, Mom and her sisters known as the DeWitt Quintette appeared on the Wilkins Amateur Hour over KDKA television in Pittsburgh. As a teenager Mom was a straight “A” student at Northern High School and served as the Editor and Chief of the North Hi News, seeing that the monthly paper would be off the press on deadline day. She also worked part time at Harvey’s Service Station, which was owned by her oldest sister Betty Harvey and husband Dale. The service station had a soda fountain lunch counter and Mom would hand dip ice cream, make homemade custard pies and chocolate and peanut butter fudge.
Mom never proclaimed to be a good cook but was an awesome baker and candy maker growing up. Within our family, Mom was famous for her potato salad, torte cake, coconut layer cake, and making buckeye candies. For a time, Mom would help my sister, Vickie, make buckeye candies, which my sister would sell along with crafts annually at the Autumn Glory Festivals in Oakland.
Mom met my dad, Ron, while working at Harvey’ Service Station. They dated for a while and Dad fell head over heels in love with her. With ring in hand, Dad proposed to her and she declined, citing she was not ready to get married. My Dad’s love and devotion to her eventually won her over and on his second proposal, she accepted. Remember at the beginning of this tribute, I described her as strong willed!!
On June 5, 1960, Mom and Dad were married in the Sang Run Pentecostal Church and over the course of 12 years had three (3) children. In June of 2020, Mom and Dad celebrated a 60-year anniversary together. On October 30, 2020, the love affair ended with the passing of my Dad. All the love and time they shared together unexpectedly came to an end and left a gaping hole in Mom’s life, especially with the passing of her sister Barb not more than a month earlier.
Mom was a homemaker after a very short career working for a finance company in Oakland, Maryland. However, she was not your typical homemaker. She worked as hard as a man alongside my dad for many years. She would help him seasonally put in and take out boat docks at Deep Creek Lake. She would work on the farm, baling hay, feeding the cows, cleaning cow manure out the barn, working in the garden and mowing the lawn. She really was a jack of all trade and met a challenge head on. I guess the “tom boy in a dress” matured into the hard-working mother I learned to respect growing up as a kid.
Since I am the youngest of the family and there is a significant age gap of 11 years between me and my brother, Ron, I spent a lot of alone time with Mom growing up, especially with dad working shift work at Westvaco. In fact, I share a lot of the same personality traits with my mom.
Yes, I am and will always be a momma’s boy. When I was 4, I was viciously attacked and mauled in the face by a family dog in the basement of our house. If Mom hadn’t been nearby hanging up clothes to save me from the attack, I do not know what would have happened. I can remember her scooping me up off the floor and upstairs we went her shirt soaked with my blood. She loaded me the purple Ford Torino and rushed me to the hospital in Oakland. I can remember the feel of the cold vinyl seats as she sped into town. I believe I required around thirty (30) stiches to the left side of my face. Although the scars have faded with age and wrinkles, the memory is as vivid to me as if it happened just yesterday.
Mom was a cancer survivor having beat the disease at least 4 times during the prime of her life. There were times she was literally fighting for her life, but she remained strong and rarely shed a tear. She didn’t like people seeing her cry (even her family) because she thought it would give the appearance that she was weak. Remember at the beginning of this tribute, I described her as stoic!!
Mom was a good grandmother to my children. Tyler especially loved spending the night at the farm when he was younger and the delicious breakfast, she would prepare for him in the next morning. If you asked either Tyler or Carter for a memory of Mom, I believe they would tell you that Mom (nanny to them) had a lead foot in her younger years driving. On one particular occasion when the boys were fairly young, they rushed in the house from the fair to report that Nanny had been pulled over by the cops for speeding! Luckily, the policeman only gave Mom a verbal warning, but we laughed about this for years to come.
When my personal life changed approximately 10 years ago, my Mom was my harshest critic and said some things that could never be unheard or taken back and there was a period of time that I distanced myself from her and my family. She later regretted her words and apologized but the damage was already done. I forgave her over time but will never forget. It changed our relationship from that point forward and the closeness we once had was gone.
I was fortunate to have her visit us at the retirement beach house Rob and I own in Garden City Beach, South Carolina in May of 2021. Mom had a great time during her stay and I even got her on the beach a day or two.
Since losing my dad in October 2020, Mom’s dementia escalated but she was still able to enjoy going out to eat, shopping trips and spending time outdoors on her front porch in the summer months. Her health really began to deteriorate in September 2022 when me and my siblings began daily care of her at home along with part-time caregivers Kim and Joy. I am so thankful Mom was able to pass comfortably at home surrounded by her family. I got to hold her hand, tell her than I loved her and was stroking her hair during her last breath.
I take comfort in the fact that I did everything that I could considering my hectic and busy life to make Mom feel valued, loved and cared for over the past 2 years. Don’t get me wrong, it was very difficult stressful and frustrating at times, but I have no regrets.
Mom, if you are listening and looking down over all of us today, please know your family is always going to miss you and that we are proud of the life you lived, which will always remain in our memories. I know Dad and Barb welcomed you with open loving arms the minute you passed on and shed your earthly body, which had become a prison to you mentally and physically.