Patricia Anne Budnick
May 27, 1929 – April 14, 2021
“Patty Mama ain’t no quitter!” We said that a lot lately, as she bounced back from multiple age-related ailments over the past months and years. But darnit, this time Sepsis won.
Patricia Anne Budnick almost made it to 92. She kept her characteristically strong attitude through it all, before gracefully accepting her fate. She died peacefully on April 14, 2021, spending her last day with prayers and family, in Scottsdale, AZ.
Patty was born May 27, 1929, in Laurium, MI, daughter of Ralph C. and Charlotte Lee Bohne, sister to Ralph Jr. (Vera), Marilyn (“Pinky”) Anderson (Carl), Suzan Smith (Joseph) and Jack (Beth). She grew up in Ironwood, MI. She was a Yooper (UPer), as Michiganders say. Her parents, Ralph Jr., Vera, Carl and Joseph preceded her in death.
She attended The College of St. Scholastica, where she met and fell in love with Francis George Budnick (aka, FG, or Bud). They married and began a life together with humble means in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. True to form, Bud bought her a shotgun as a wedding gift and took her duck hunting on their honeymoon. She stuck with him through this and many other wild adventures – which says a lot about Patty – and Bud – and their enviable life together.
She had a keen eye for interior design and contributed her expertise to Bud’s commercial developments and their multiple custom homes over their 64-year marriage. Bud preceded her in death, in 2015.
Her first child, Patrick George Budnick, died in 2009. Her surviving children are Michael Jon Budnick (Laura Gibbons), Orcas Island, WA; Johanna (“Jody”) Maria Bastine (Andy), Tucson, AZ, and Orcas Island, WA; Peter Matthew Budnick (Quang, aka Hue), Carefree, AZ; and Sarah Elizabeth Budnick (Sean Buzzetti), Scappoose, OR. She has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Patty’s open and welcoming nature invited countless others to join our family, and many consider Patty a second mother. As long as you behaved – or properly misbehaved – she saw and treated you as one of her own. Always ready to whip up a tasty meal, always a pot of soup on the stove, always a seat for you at the table.
She was worldly in her reach and welcomed exchange students and distant friends and relatives into her home. Our family is international and diverse. Her love extends around the globe, and now to the heavens.
In the early 1960s, work opportunities brought their young family to Ada, MI, where Patty made more lasting friendships. Their extended rural neighborhood was a living example of strength in community. Together with their friends and neighbors, they created an idyllic freestyle life for their children, all the while under the watchful eye of many parents, each empowered with the wisdom, will and ability to enforce guidance if and when we got out of line. Which we did, a lot, or so they claim.
In 1985, new opportunities brought them to Carefree, AZ, where she formed more lasting friendships, overcame her fear of creepy crawlers and snakes, and enjoyed the warm winter months. Come summer, it was water time, either in Swan Lake, MT, or Orcas Island, WA, where she enjoyed many more lasting friendships.
In her final days, her PT, originally from Michigan, was helping her with mobility exercises. Explaining a posture, the PT said, “it’s just like how you squat to pee in the woods. You’re a Yooper, you know what I mean, right?” Even in pain and suffering, her sense of humor remained strong, and the quips, retorts and laughter flowed freely.
“That’s not what’s gonna get ya,” she often said in the face of uncertainty. As proof, she survived a heart attack and heart surgery at 53, yet kept on ticking ‘til 91 (“close enough to 92, damit!”). She never stopped eating hamburgers with all the fixings for breakfast. Or fried chicken. Or drinking bourbon with bitters, soda, and a slice of orange each evening. The last meal she requested was an Arby’s roast beef sandwich with curly fries. She loved life, and lived it well.
She was classy. Sometimes sassy. Funny. Loyal and loving. Welcoming, open and caring. We love and miss you, Patty Budnick.
A service in her honor will take place at 11 a.m., May 6, 2021, at Our Lady of Joy, Carefree, AZ. In lieu of flowers, feel free to gift a charity of your choice in her honor (she was fond of Catholic charities).