Helen Cheney was born on June 15, 1934 in Frankenmuth, Michigan to Edwin and Lily Cheney. She was born in a farmhouse with no electricity or indoor plumbing. She had a younger brother, Jack, who she loved dearly and told stories of mischief they would get in on the farm they grew up on. One time they got hold of some paint and painted the side of the barn. They loved to tease the geese and scream in terror when the geese chased them.
She graduated in 1952 from Arthur Hill High School. As a 5' 2" junior, she met a tall handsome 6'4''basketball player named Louis Campbell in study hall. Thank goodness for sitting in alphabetical order. She would always tell her children how upset she was that he didn't ask her to his Senior Prom, and every time she told this story, Lou would be chastised. Before too long they started dating seriously. After she graduated high school she wanted to get married right away, but Lou insisted that they both go to college first.
She went to Saginaw General Nursing School. Lou graduated from Ferris State College with a pharmacy degree and two days later, on June 25, 1955, they were married. They have been madly in love ever since.
Dad was drafted into the army, and they lived in Seattle, Washington. She worked as a nurse in a nearby hospital. They loved to share the stories about their life in Seattle. Sometimes they would have only twenty five cents left for a can of beans. Their first son, Tom, was born there and slept in a dresser drawer that was a makeshift crib. This is where her love of mountains began. She always said she wanted to go back and see Mt. Rainier again.
When he got out of the army, they bought their first home in Saginaw, Michigan where their second son Jim was born. They bought their second home in Ypsilanti Michigan where their daughter Beth was born in 1964 and Amy in 1967. She worked part time as a nurse at the University of Michigan hospital. Pat was the most patient, loving parent four kids could ever have. Her example of kind, caring love and positive discipline made her children grow into adults that emulate her character and has transferred to the way that they raised their own children.
In 1976, the family moved to Chelsea, Michigan. House hunting was easy-she wanted a house with a fireplace. She fell in love with a nontraditional house with a courtyard in the center, on the outskirts of town. She got a job at the Chelsea Methodist Home as a nurse. She loved working there and always had stories about her patients. Because she lived close to her job, she would always be called to go into work in the middle of snow storms. Someone always had to drive her, and one time someone took her to work on a snowmobile. She became the director of nursing and didn't especially enjoy all the paperwork. She liked working with the residents better. After Dad retired, she didn't like knowing that he was basking in retirement bliss when she was still working, so she retired also. They spent several years splitting their time between visiting Tom and Beth's family in Texas, Jim's family in Georgia and Amy in Florida.
They moved to Kingwood, Texas in 1998 and lived less than half a mile from Tom and his wife, Kim. Pat and Kim were the best of friends. They would go on weekly shopping trips, movies, out to lunch, and even went to Bunco together. They found a church, Christ the King, which they became involved in. They started a senior group, and joined a care group whose members became very close and dear friends. Mom volunteered at a local nursing home. She was always upset when she found a resident that wasn't a Christian. She took it upon herself to make them believers so they could go to Heaven. She spent hours reading with them and telling them of God's love. There are four or five people in Heaven because of her. She frequently talked about what she thought Heaven would be like, and constantly added new ideas to her list.
Pat was a special grandmother. She was known as Grammie to all 13 of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She spent special time with all of them. She enjoyed doing crafts with the girls and taking the boys to NASA and the zoo. She is infamous for her cookies. When the grandkids would come over, they would search for the Tupperware bowl. She was known for her molasses cookies. Alex and Jim would get care packages to take home. She didn't give out the recipe until just recently.
Anytime someone starts to believe that true love doesn't exist, all they have to do is think of Lou and Pat's relationship and how much they loved each other, their family and everyone who came into their lives. Pat had a phenomenal faith in God, and a profound belief in the words of the bible. When someone would come with a troubled heart, Pat would always have the perfect bible verse. Her gentle spirit and loving nature truly was an inspiration to all who knew her.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.
Jeremiah 29 11-14