Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aunt Pat

     Last night a cherished family member passed from this life to the next following a courageous battle with cancer.  Aunt Pat was like a comet passing through my Hughes family's lives scattering love, light and energy to everyone she met. 

1985 Aunt Pat with Uncle Ed and Edna Hughes

     She was my Uncle John's second wife and I first had the pleasure of meeting her when she accompanied him to Cousin Karen's wedding in Pittsburgh in 1985.  Have you ever met someone for the first time and instinctively knew you would want to get to know them better--spend more time with them???  That was my first reaction to Aunt Pat.  She was full of energy and charisma.  A pinch on the cheek for Garrett, a big kiss for Aric and for Ted....well, she exclaimed, "Who is that FUNNY MAN!!!"  "Funny Man" became Ted's nickname for the next twenty seven years.  That first meeting she captivated us with her wit and sincerity. 

Uncle John and Aunt Pat
Fran and Lee's wedding 1986

     Through the years, I was always anxious to know if Aunt Pat would be attending whatever family gathering was on the docket.  She had a joie de vivre.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Aunt Pat had her ups and downs and fought a few demons during her lifetime, but always seemed to do it with grace and style. 

Aunt Pat and Uncle John at Grams'
90th birthday--1988

     She was a multifaceted woman.....not just fun and games, but also a good counselor.  Aunt Pat was able to put her thumb right on a problem and gave thoughtful, expert advice.

Aunt Pat enjoying a piece of cake at Megan's
high school graduation party 2002

     I had two occasions to really spend some quality time with my aunt.  The first was following Megan's high school graduation party.  We all gathered at Cousin Phyllis' home and Aunt Pat and I sat for hours looking through my Hughes picture book.  I marveled at the stories she shared.....thoughts of my Uncle John regarding his parents and great grandmother.....items that he had, up to that point, only shared with Pat. 

Aunt Pat teaching me a few tricks
of her selling skills--2002

     Second, when the family gathered to plan and have the Fun With Judy event.  Aunt Pat arrived with her usual excitement; her arms full of bags of food.  She proceeded to literally throw together a delicious chili out of canned products.  Was it called Seven Can Chili????  Next she sat down with me and we gathered up and priced all the items that we were selling in a garage sale during the Fun With Judy day.  I felt like I was sitting at the feet of a master.  I was so into auctions and garage sales that year and Aunt Pat was a seller for house sales--she REALLY knew her stuff.  To say that I was in awe would be an understatement.

Hughes Family gathers for Katie's high school grad party
The last time I saw my aunt was at Katie's graduation party in 2006.  It was so wonderful to feel her kiss on my cheek and warm embrace. 

Rest in Peace my dear Aunt Pat.  I know you have been warmly welcomed up in heaven and are spreading your effervescent personality to all you meet.

Identified left to right; siblings - 
"Aunt Pat", Joseph "Joe" Madden, Rosemary Madden-Allan
Shared by Phaedra Madden

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published. 

PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2012, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, prayers for all the family, may she rest in peace (well, no, may she have a lots of FUN FUN FUN on the other side, just like she did here!)

  2. Linda, what a lovely tribute and you should be proud of what you wrote. I could tell you really liked her, and this was a nice timeline of her in the family. I'm truly sorry for your loss.

  3. So sorry to hear you lost your Aunt Pat! She sounds like she was quite a gal!

  4. Linda, Sorry to hear the news about your Aunt Pat. She sounds like a wonderful woman and you wrote a very heart warming tribute to her.

  5. Lin, Thanks for writing this ... so true and lovely to read. And the photos are terrific. I'm so glad we got to spend time with Pat in Florida and Michigan with the girls; the three of them had a great time together. Pat was just a dear and I'll miss her lots.

  6. What a lovely tribute Linda! I am Peggy Madden, her loving niece in Sunnyvale, CA. I have been thinking of her for 2 days now and what a great surprise to see your fond memories here on the Internet. Aunt Pat was my Dad's sister and I talked to her about a week ago in the Florida hospital. I love the pictures you have. She was the absolute life of any party and was truly loved by so many people. I talked to her daughter Annie and a memorial service is being planned in Michigan around the Memorial Day holiday. Aunt Pat once told me she wants everyone dancing on her grave to celebrate her life -- now isn't that just like her?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful story. She was my husband's aunt (Rosemary's sister) and she always brought pure joy into a room. May she rest in peace!

    2. Thank you to both Anonymous replies. She was so well loved by SO MANY people.

    3. Hi Linda... it's Peggy. I found a few cute pix of Aunt Pat at a few different St. Alphonsus High School reunions that are on the internet that I think you might enjoy. How can I email them to you?

    4. linda dot hiser at gmail dot com Thanks for sharing Peggy.

    5. Madden, as in Joe Madden Pat's father? It was Joe right? If so I heard more stories and bits of advice from that man than one might think. I wish I met him, but I think he would have scared me. -George Hughes

    6. Hi George -- Pat's father was Ed (nicknamed "Mike") Madden. Pat's brother is Joe Madden (my dad). Pat's father is my grandfather and was quite a man! He had quite a way of imparting his advice with quite a sense of humor. He loved all his grandkids and every Saturday morning my brothers and I all hopped into Gramps car and he drove us to Aunt Pat's house, then to Aunt Rosemary's house and we visited with my aunts/cousins. Aunt Pat was the last living aunt we had on the Madden side. Would you believe 50 years later the cousins are all going to meet again at Pat's funeral. Yes.. we are flying in from CA, Alabama, S. Carolina, Las Vegas, Colorado and Florida. I look forward to meeting the Hughes family and the Kaminski/Duchon family from the Manistee area! -- Peggy Madden

  7. Thanks for putting this out there Linda. And Peggy, thank you for the link. Since I do not have any pictures of her it was very nice to check this blog out. To me, my Grate Aunt Pat represented the gold standard in the art of hugging. She gave the best huggs I have yet to experience. She always seemed so full of life that it's hard to believe she is gone. I guess our loss is heavens gain. She will be missed.

  8. What a wonderful coincidence that Pat had two Linda Hughes’ in her life. Pat was my mother-in-law’s cousin. I met her and Rosie at our wedding in 1978. Linda, everything you said in your blog I have to “ditto” .. .. the Kaminski/Duchon family in Manistee loved her and Rosie.
    I saw her last year with Pattie (her niece), we had dinner at the casino, and hopefully (if you don’t mind) I can upload a couple of my favorite pic’s of her here.
    Summer will never be the same without their visits.

    1. What a coincidence Linda Hughes' in Aunt Pat's life. I don't know if you can upload pix onto this blog; however, if you would like to send them to me and then I can upload them to share...I would be happy to do it. Nice to meet you.

  9. Thank you.. nice to meet you.

    Fyi ..Peggy- Jerry and I knew your parents very well. We loved the whole family.

    1. Really? Thank you for printing your email. I want to contact you so we can chat about your side of the family. I remember my parents, Pat and Roe going up to Manistee, MI around the Memorial Day weekend for years. I would love to get caught up to date...I remember visiting the Kaminski family as a child...we are talking about 50 years ago!! I have pix of my summer vacations up in Manistee. --Peggy

  10. This is Pat's niece Phaedra Madden, my last visit with aunt Pat was in Detroit at Rosemary Madden-Allan's home (aunt Pat's sister's house), during the winter of 2006-07, or 2005, we had not seen each other for several years, and not since I was a child. As we were pulling into the drive-way of my aunt Rosemary Madden-Allan's home, my father (Mike Madden) said, "that's aunt Pat sitting on the porch." I was very anxious to see aunt Pat, and as we walked towards aunt Rosemary's front door, aunt Pat did a tap dance performance for us on the porch, she was wearing a black hat, and tights, and was all dressed in black, possibly she even held a cane in one hand. My father does Irish clog dance and we were so very much excited and impressed while watching aunt Pat's tap dance performance - will never forget how charming Pat was that day.

  11. This is Phaedra Madden again, I just remembered, it was my grampa Joe Madden that was there when aunt Pat did her tap dance performance for us, my father Mike Madden was not there, it was my grampa Joe Madden instead. Joe Madden is brother to aunt Pat, there were 3 siblings altogether; Patricia "aunt Pat", Rosemary Madden-Allan, and Joe Madden - all 3 were children of Edmund Madden and Anna Margaret Kaminski-Madden.