Patricia Jean Fordham, 89, passed from this world Sept. 10, 2018, at the Powell Valley Care Center. Dementia sadly stole the last years of her life. She was born Nov. 12, 1928. Her parents were Leonard and Helen Lindstrom.
Pat started life and grew up on the North Fork of the Shoshone River just west of Cody. She attended grade school and rode her horse every day to the small school house in Wapiti. When her father secured a job with Ohio Oil, it was the beginning of her adventures living in the oil camps throughout Wyoming. Her favorite oil camp was McFadden (even in her dementia she still recalled her fun life there) and her fondest memories were homemade kites, freedom to run and play, and her mother hanging the laundry out to dry. This is where she learned to play the piano, to do needlepoint and knit. High school was not an option in the camps, so she went to Laramie and lived in a boarding house and graduated in 1946. She attended college in Laramie and went on to pursue an engineering degree at a time when it was not the norm for women to be engineers. She was the only woman in her class.
It was New Year’s Eve 1947 in Casper when Pat borrowed a formal from a friend and went to a dance, not knowing she had been set up on a blind date with a guy named Bob Fordham. His first thought when he saw her was “I’m going to marry that gal!” and her first thought was “I can’t believe how short he is!” She removed her high heels and they danced the night away. Pat attempted to return to college to finish her degree, but chose instead to stay with Bob. They were married June 16, 1949, in Casper. Their first home was in Thermopolis.
In 1960, Bob purchased an optometric business and they moved to Powell, where they made their life and raised their four children. Pat chose to be a stay-at-home mom and was a true blessing, always there when she was needed. We have great memories of her cooking, but her macaroni and cheese and tuna casserole stand alone. She loved her coffee time with neighbors Linda and Margaret. Pat was a whiz at trivia — she could give Jeopardy a run for its money, and if we were playing Trivial Pursuit…not wanting to play, she would watch us and not be able to resist shouting out the answer!
When retirement came around, they were off to their cabin in Crandall, which they built and worked on together. It became their home away from home and brought them so much joy. Pat loved Wyoming — she loved to read the history and study the geology. She had the talent of sewing, loved her family, horses, dogs, cats, watching the aspen change color in the fall and breathing the fresh mountain air. Pat found joy in her piano and accompanied her children, many friends and the children’s church choir. She loved all kinds of music, including the Beatles. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and served on many levels over the years. She was an avid volunteer with the Women’s Auxiliary at the Powell Hospital. After the kids were raised, she found great fulfillment in working for Hedge Music and First National Bank of Powell.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Fordham; sister Dorothy Brunk, brother Leonard (Bud) Lindstrom; and grandson Collin Fordham.
She is survived by her daughters Terry (Jerry) Faxon and Kristie (Dusty) Franklin, both of Powell, her sons Steve (Taraz Martinez) Fordham of Aurora, Colorado, and Jeff (Sue) Fordham of Laurel, Montana; her grandchildren, Reanne Wolff, Paul Faxon, Gwen Hamm, Monique Ortiz, Peter Fordham, Clint Franklin, Ashley Teten, Jessie Cummings, Nathan Fordham and Lauren Fordham; and her great-grandchildren, Gracie and Kaden Wolff, Rayven and Noah Faxon, Kelsey and Katrina Ortiz, Alecia and Jasmine Fordham, Finley and Harper Franklin, Abel, Ava and August Teten, James, Lewis and Max Cummings.
She was a wonderful mom, loving grandma and great-grandma. When her family was asked to describe her, they said words like kind, good, tough, strong, intelligent, selfless, patient, feisty, unconditional, stubborn, generous, supportive, no-frills, hard-working — and so very loved by all. She will be missed, but our hearts know that she is home with family and friends in Christ, hope in heaven — and that is our peace.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Union Presbyterian Church in Powell. Burial will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Thompson Funeral Home is assisting the family. For those who wish, donations may be made to the City of Powell Animal Shelter.
Our special thanks to Dr. Comer and all the nurses and staff in the West Unit of the Care Center. The outstanding compassion and care that you gave Pat will always be remembered.