Patricia S. Wilhelms passed away peacefully at home in Aberdeen with her husband by her side on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. Pat was born June 22, 1946, in Canton, Ill., to Roscoe and Gladys Parrott.
Pat was raised in Havana, Ill., and graduated from Havana High School in 1964. She graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., in 1968. She taught at Richwoods High School in Peoria, Ill., in the late 60s. She earned her master’s degree through St. Martin’s University after moving to Washington.
On Aug. 14, 1971, Pat married the love of her life David Wilhelms at Sinnissippi Gardens in Rockford, Ill.
They moved to Aberdeen in 1974 where she taught at St. Mary School for 10 years and Aberdeen High School for 28 years until she retired in 2012.
While at AHS, Pat grew the program to include four award winning choirs, an annual fall musical and spring cabaret program that highlighted many individual students. Pat took her choirs on tour, including Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and Carnegie Hall.
Pat was one of the four founders of 7th Street Kids Theater program, lending her talents as musical director. After retiring, she also started Poco Voce, an all-city children’s choir.
Pat loved musical theater, opera, jazz and children’s theater and was instrumental in developing a choral program through area schools. She was devoted to the arts.
Pat was the recipient of the 1990 Washington Award for Excellence in Education, the 1990 Christa McAuliffe Award, the 1990 Rotary International Service Above Self Award, and The Daily World’s 2008 Citizen of the Year. Pat was inducted into the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
Pat was a member of the Aberdeen Lions Club, Aberdeen Elks, American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education and the Washington Music Educators Association.
Pat is survived by her loving husband David Wilhelms of the family home and their cat Teazer; cousins Melba (Lascelles) Upton and John, Marla (Lascelles) Wiemer and Fred, Rich Lascelles and Maureen, Linda (Schmidt) Schilling and Bob, and Peggy (Schmidt) Carter and Brent.
Pat was an animal lover, especially cats, and therefore memorial donations are suggested to Aberdeen PAWS.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, in the AHS Auditorium followed by a reception in the Commons.
To share memories or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Harrison Family Mortuary in Aberdeen.