Patricia Irene Bielinski was born March 31, 1931. After several years of failing health, she passed away at the Mineral Wells Nursing and Rehab Center on May 24, 2016.
Pat graduated as valedictorian from Gordon, TX High School. She was a star basketball player at a time the girls played half court. Patricia was an all-district forward and fans enjoyed seeing her effortless, graceful moves toward the basket.
She trained as a legal secretary and her first job was at Carswell AFB, Fort Worth. Here, she was selected “Miss Flying Safety” and was often pictured in PR events in the base newspaper. Pat later worked as a legal secretary for a large law firm in Chicago that represented the boxer Muhammad Ali. Her working life continued in the legal field and her last position was at a law office in Irving, TX.
Pat was a devotee of ballroom dancing and in her spare time, she taught dancing at dance studios in Fort Worth and Chicago. Often other dancers would stop to watch Pat and partner do the intricate steps. She became very knowledgeable on Classic Country and Big Band music and had an extensive collection of old records. Name a song and she could recite the vocalist, the band, and the words. One of Pat’s favorite dance halls was the Aragon Ball Room in Chicago where the big bands often played. And of course her dancing is remembered from early days at the Trio Club. She really enjoyed her nephew Joe’s country music radio programs and Joe often reminisced that Pat taught him to dance.
Pat moved into the Bielinski homestead in Mingus, TX when she retired in 1993.
Pat was an avid reader. She liked mysteries, historical fiction, and books about cats and Victorian decorating. As a child she had a collection of the Nancy Drew mysteries and was VERY possessive of them.
As a strong political conservative, she could argue politics and world affairs.
She cared about her appearance. At 85, she had beautiful hands with manicured nails, her face had no wrinkles, and she was never without a precious red lipstick.
She was a gifted photographer; her favorite subjects were landscapes, cats and flowers. Her favorite flower was the Texas Blue Bell. And she loved pictures of snow, particularly those with shadows of trees and objects.
Pat was a TV sports enthusiast. Her favorites were pro football, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and baseball.
Her family says it was a treat to receive a Christmas or birthday present wrapped by Pat. The wrapping was a work of art with the colorful paper, ribbons and a tiny trinket attached.
Cats were the love of Pat’s life. She had six in her later years. She had a large shed built especially for them. She was a generous contributor to several humane animal shelters.
With so many interests, she “lived alone, but was never lonely.”
The Bielinskis live long lives.
Pat is survived by her sister Celia, who lives in Urbana, IL. She has five children. Pat Bielinski was godmother to her namesake, Pat, the oldest, and to Guy, the youngest. Deb, Dee, and Mark filled in the ten years in between.
Pat’s brother Leo resides in Aledo. Leo’s son Mike has three children, Clifford, Anya and Mattie. Each new generation shares Pat’s love for this part of Texas that has special meaning in the family history. When Leo visited, Pat delighted in having cooked Leo’s favorite soup for him to enjoy. Pat gave Cliff an old coin collection and was thrilled with his thank-you note telling her he used the proceeds to buy his first stethoscope.
Leo meant so much to Pat. He helped her re-establish herself when she retired to Mingus and looked out for her when her health began to fail. During her time in the nursing home, nieces Pat Saether, Joni Bielinski and sister Dorothy Weil were particularly attentive.
Pat’s sister Dorothy Weil lives in Houston. She has three children, Ben, Melanie, and Wendy.
Pat’s brother Frank passed away in 1999. He has three children: Lisa, Joni and Joe. Joni is a cat lover too, and Pat appreciated her caring spirit.
Pat’s remains will join those of her father, Frank Stephen Bielinski; her mother, Lottie Wasieleski Bielinski; and her sister, Nellie Catherine Bielinski.
Due to weather, the graveside service planned for June 2nd was postponed. Graveside services will now be held on Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 a.m. at the Mount Marion Cemetery in Strawn.