Thursday, June 13, 2013

Patricia Shogren - Obituary

This is my first ever obituary.  It meant a lot for me to be able to honor my grandmother with it.

Patricia Joyce Shogren, 84, of Alexandria died on Sunday, June 9, 2013 at Edgewater Vista Assisted Living.  Services are scheduled at 9:30 am Saturday at the New Life Christian Church in Alexandria.  Visitation will be held at the Anderson Funeral Home from 6-8 pm on Friday.

Floris & Lawrence Kloos welcomed Patricia (Pat) Joyce into the world on November 21, 1928 in Grant County, Minnesota.  While growing up on a farm, Pat grew to be a strong and hardworking woman, and she applied these traits to every aspect of her life.  She was educated at Roseville District #20 and graduated from Barrett High School.  Later, Pat attended Gustavus Adolphus College and also the Minneapolis Northwest Institute of Technology to receive a degree in medical technology.  She worked in both the Hoffman and Douglas County Hospitals.

On December 24, 1950, Patricia married Leslie Warren Shogren at Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN.  Soon after they married, she was a naval wife living in Norfolk, Virginia. In the summer of 1954, she moved back to Alexandria. It was here that Pat and Les raised a rambunctious family of six with abundant laughter and abounding love.

Anyone who knew Pat knew her food.  She was an amazing cook and even took her talents to the kitchens of Clear Water Suites and Geneva Bible Camp.  Pat was also very active in her church as well as the Zetetic Club, FATS Club, and the Red Hat Society.  Quilting, especially with her family, was a favorite hobby of hers.  Pat was a fun loving person who was always on the go.  She frequently joined her children for memorable family vacations and road trips. 

Pat loved to dress fashionably, even when she was a child.  One of her favorite childhood memories came at the age of 10 when she received her first store bought coat.  The sparkly sequins that she often wore reflected her luminous personality.  Pat’s legacy will include her spunky and matter-of-fact disposition, but most of all, she will be remembered for her fierce love.  When Pat loved, she didn’t hold back, and her love and generosity will live on in the hearts of those she left behind.
She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant sibling, her husband, Leslie Shogren, and her son, Peter Shogren.

She is survived by numerous people who love and will miss her.  Her children are Deb (Dan) Carlson of Brookings, SD; Jan (Rick) Banke of Alexandria, MN; Paul (Judy) Shogren of Moorhead, MN; Cindy (Dean) Kling of Fargo, ND; Lisa (Gene) Dela Cruz of Apple Valley, MN; and Daughter-in-law, Maridee Shogren, of Grandforks, ND.  Pat also had 20 grandchildren: Molly, Justin (Cassie), Brianne, Andrea (Austin), Jay (Kayla), Logan (Dani), Danielle (Drew), Lucas (Stephanie), Shelby, Meghan (Phil), Whitney, Tessa (Andy), Zachary (Anna), Mitchell, Payton, Arielle, Saree, Onalee, Mikki (Mike) and Jon, and 10 great grandchildren: Davin, Jaylin, Caleb, Blake, Reese, Hannah, Beckett, Brody, Haley, Canyon, and three more to be born in 2013.  She is also survived by her brother, Lawrence Kloos Jr of Hoffman and sisters, Mary Hanson of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Floris Ann Dawson of Caledonia, Ontario.   

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa's House

I wrote this when I was in 9th grade (2001).  My grandparent's home was a big part of my childhood, and it's how I'll always remember them.

The van stops; we hop out and start unloading it.  We skip inside the garage, and as we open the door to the house, we hear the TV blaring.  We burst through the door and scamper inside.  Looking straight ahead, I can see Grandpa lounging in his favorite brown leather chair.  "Hey, punk kid," he chuckles as we leap into his lap.  I look over to see Uncle Rick, Uncle Paul, and Uncle Gene snoozing on the comfy blue couch.  As I start to sneak away, Uncle Paul points out that he hasn't gotten a kiss yet.  I wander over to Uncle Paul, but my two little cousins, Payton and Arielle interrupt and come at us screaming with my 14 year old cousin, Meghan, chasing close behind them.  My brothers, Justin and Jay, each take one wiggly cousin and throw them over their shoulders like a sack of clothes.  The children scream as Justin and Jay toss them on the couch and tickle them.

After the torture session is over, we mosey on upstairs.  As we climb the two flights of stairs, we can hear the incessant laughter coming from the living room.  It's my Grandma, Aunt Jan, Aunt Karen, and Aunt Lisa. We can always tell which of the Shogren girls are there because of their laughter.  The each have a loud, distinct laugh.  As I reach the top of the stairs,I turn and look to see Grandma in her blue La-Z-Boy.  Aunt Karen is in the tan, woven chair with her back towards us, Aunt Lisa in one of the barrel chairs, and sure enough, Aunt Jan is sitting in the huge,comfy chair, telling another story to entertain her audience.

We give everyone hugs, and the kids all run off in different directions.  Justin and Jay join Mitch and Zach to play Nintendo in Grandma and Grandpa's room.  Dad goes back downstairs to plop down on the comfy, blue couch to watch golf with my uncles and Grandpa.  Mom sits on the couch while Tessa, Meghan, and I give Payton and Arielle piggy back rides to the park that's up the hill from Grandma and Grandpa's house by the brick church.  I run with Payton to the baby blue slide and Arielle sprints to the swings.  While Payton zips down the slide, Arielle screams, "Higher, higher!"  After we are done playing at the park, we run back to the house to see Grandma, Mom, Jan, Karen, and Lisa in the kitchen, slaving away at supper.  We can hear the loud racket coming from Grandma and Grandpa's room.

Just about then, Grandma announces that supper is ready.  Everyone comes bolting from every direction.  My dad is appointed to pray, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we could all be here today, and that we all had a safe trip.  Bless this food to our bodies.  Amen."  The second after he says "Amen," the hubbub starts up again.  Warm, steaming food is all laid out on the counter that separates the kitchen and dining room.  The kids sit down at the kitchen table while the adults sit in the dining room and eat at Grandma's nice, oak table.  When everyone is done eating, the kids do the dishes.  I have to do the dishes tonight.  While I scrub the dishes under the warm, soapy water, I wish I could be playing 007 with everyone else.  "Oh, well.  Tomorrow they have to do the dishes," I think to myself.

"After the dishes are done, the women sit and start talking again.  The men go back downstairs and turn the TV back on.  Meghan, Tessa, and I go talk in the "Pink Room."  The "Pink Room" used to be the "Yellow Room."  It had a mustard yellow dresser, yellow floral wallpaper, and a buttercup colored bedspread.  But, then my grandma turned it pink.  She got a new, pink bedspread and pink wallpaper.  The dresser is still mustard, but everything else is pink.  Tessa and I still wish she had kept it yellow.  Oh, well.  Life goes on.

Soon the adults say it's time to go home.  Meghan, Mitch, Jan, and Rick all get in their navy blue Suburban and drive to their home that's two miles away.  Aunt Karen, Uncle Paul, and Zach pile in their Suburban and drive back to Aunt Jan and Uncle Rick's house to spend the night.  Payton and Arielle are drifting off to sleep because it is so late, and Aunt Lisa puts them to bed.  Tessa and I sleep together in the "Pink Room."

As we lay there in the soft, fluffy bed staring off into the darkness, I think about how much I love being here at Grandma and Grandpa's.  There is always so much love, even if it is shown in teasing, which it most likely is.  But, we always know that we are loved.  Tessa and I talk about what we want to do tomorrow.  We can smell Grandma's washing detergent and fall asleep to the soft squeaking of the bed.