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August 30, 1925 ~ March 11, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
Patricia (Downs) "Pat" Dressel died peacefully on March 11, 2023, at Evergreen Woods in North Branford, Conn., at the age of 97. Born on August 30, 1925, in Jackson, Mich., she was predeceased by her loving husband of sixty six years, Robert W. Dressel and is survived by daughter, Jane (Dressel) Schaller and husband, William Schaller, of Clinton, Conn.; sons, Steve Dressel and wife, Patricia Dressel, and Kurt Dressel and wife, Janet Dressel, of Charlottesville, Va.; granddaughters, Amy Schaller, Mary Schaller, of Seattle, Wash., Kathryn Schaller of Norwich, Conn.; sister-in-law, Carol (Dressel) Relph and husband, Robert Relph, of Weaverville, N.C., and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pat was an only child, who spent her early years as a tomboy, enjoying tumbling and riding her bike around town. As Pat matured, she became quite the fashionista, with an eye for wearing color-coordinated outfits (including lipstick) and remained so for her entire life. Her knack for color expression extended to all forms of artistic talents, including painting, needlework, decorating t-shirts and stained-glass creations. Pat was a voracious reader, regularly absorbing up to seven books in a week, often with her beloved Red Sox playing on the tv in the background. When not reading, she enjoyed an assortment of word games and poring over crossword puzzles, usually solving the New York Times Sunday puzzle in pen!
Pat was welcomed into the fun-loving Dressel family with open arms when she married Robert "Bob" Dressel in 1949. As a young bride, she worked as an assistant millenary buyer at Carson Pirie Scott & Company in Chicago. After the births of their three children in Illinois, The Hartford Insurance Company transferred the young Dressel family to Richardson, Texas, where they lived for two years, then landed in West Hartford, Conn., where they remained throughout their children's formative years. As empty nesters, Pat and Bob lived for a while in Bermuda, eventually spending most of their senior years in Keowee Key, S.C., culminating in a final return to Connecticut in Guilford.
While in West Hartford, Pat was introduced to many abiding friendships by way of the Welcome Wagon, which helped to showcase her flair for entertaining through dinner and bridge parties. She was an excellent cook, who took great pride in self-publishing a collection of her favorite recipes amassed throughout the years. Pat had passion for singing songs from the big band era; it was said that she possessed a voice that could "melt glaciers".
Pat's eagle-eyed focus on the world around her resulted in rescuing three people from drowning on three different occasions. Eventually, she developed macular degeneration making her legally blind, but that rarely got her down. She continued to read through the aid of audio books and her love of cooking and entertaining was embraced vicariously by tuning into the Food Network.
Pat had no problem speaking her mind and often mused, with a glint in her eye, that "everybody is entitled to my opinion". She had a strong moral compass and always endeavored to instill that in her children. She took great pride in a sign that was displayed on her living room wall that read "aged to perfection", which was indeed an understatement.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pat's memory to Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn. or to The American Macular Degeneration Foundation. There will be a private celebration of Pat's life for friends and family in the summer.
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