Patricia Ann Witham passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 in Longmont, Colorado. She was 87. She is survived by her son Randall Witham of Erie, Colorado, her daughter, Andrea Witham (Daniel) Sorrells of Longmont, Colorado and Camille Witham (Jeffrey) Southard of Longmont, Colorado, and her three grand-children, Coury Ditch of Louisville, Colorado, Alexandra Southard of Overland Park, Kansas and Gabrielle Southard of Overland Park, Kansas.
Patricia was born on September 10th, 1932 in Marcellus, Michigan to Luke Dorriel Riggs and Alice Rebecca Rector Riggs. She was the youngest of seven children and the granddaughter of Ranselaer Riggs who fought valiantly in the Civil War and was one of the men to help capture Jefferson Davis ending the Civil War. Patricia attended a one room school-house in Marcellus from kindergarten to ninth grade. She fondly recollected often how nice it was to walk to school with her brothers and sisters who protected her, and oftentimes her brother Charles would carry her school books. Patricia’s parents moved to Niles, Michigan before high school started. This was a big transition to go from a small country one-room school-house to the big city life of Niles High School. Patricia adjusted quickly and took advantage of all music programs Niles High had to offer. She took singing and piano lessons, participated in the choir, and took many high school field trips to Chicago by train to see major operatic productions like Madame Butterfly, La Boheme and Carmen. Patricia was also very athletic and coordinated as a majorette, baton twirler and dancer, for the Niles High School band.
Patricia, her mother Alice, and most of her siblings were active members of First Church of Christ Scientist in Niles, Michigan which is also where she met her husband Albert Vernon Witham (also an accomplished musician). Albert (Vern) was a professionally trained singer and played seven instruments. Patricia and Vern were both professionally voice trained by Professor Davis of Denver Colorado. Patricia and Vern were married October 22, 1954 in South Bend, Indiana. They moved to Denver, Colorado and then to Lakewood, Colorado where all three of their children were born.
Patricia loved children and started her own in-home Child Care business in the early 1960’s. She was very involved with the children she was care-taking, along with her own children, teaching creative skills such as knitting, sewing and cooking as well as being a significant example of a woman-owned business in the 60’s and ’70’s. She later became a professional Nanny, and over the years served for many families in the Cherry Creek, Colorado area. Patricia was also very active in her church teaching Sunday School, serving as Second Reader, reading the lesson sermon to the congregation from the podium, and serving on many Church committees.
Patricia was very devoted to her spirituality and connection with God. She prayed daily for all her family members and anyone else who needed prayer. Patricia was a devoted mother to her three children, and a devoted Grandmother to her three grandchildren, never refusing to help in any way possible and oftentimes sacrificing her own time and finances for her family. She was deeply loved by all of her children and adored as Nana by her grandchildren. As she would have said, we will say to her, “I love you forever and ever, and always!”