Today we gaze on the Beautiful Rose that was the life of Lisa Dianne Patterson of Ankeny, Iowa. Over the past 41 years, this rose had grown from its first bud, to a beautiful rose in full bloom. As we look at each part of our rose, we will recall the full beauty of Lisa.
The rose first budded on February 2, 1971, when Lisa was born to Ed and Sandy in Dallas, Texas. She was the second bud on the Sammons Rose Bush, having an older sister, Jill.
On October 16, 1999, the blooms of our magnificent rose began to multiply when Lisa married Kevin Patterson in Clearwater, Florida. The story of how Kevin and Lisa met is somewhat different depending upon whom you ask… They agree that they first met at a bowling alley near Clearwater, and their first date was roller-blading. But what was always in dispute was whether it was Kevin or Lisa who first asked the other one out. On February 17, 2003, the first little off-shoot came along with the birth of Joshua Earl, and on March 29, 2005, the birth of Cailey Nicole, brought Lisa her second and final off-shoot.
Lisa is survived by her husband, Kevin Patterson, son, Joshua and daughter, Cailey, all of the home in Ankeny, Iowa; her mother and step-father, Sandra (Mike) Wolverton of Nashville, Tennessee; her sister, brother-in-law and nephew, Jill (Tim) DuBois and Austin, of Clearwater, Florida; her step-mother, Marcia Sammons, of Chicago, Illinois; and her step-brother, sister-in-law and nephews, Michael (Stephanie) Wolverton, Chandler and Tristan, of Dallas, Texas. Lisa was preceded in death by her father, Edward Sammons, Jr in August 2006; her grandparents, Edward (Papu) and Bonnie (Mamu) Sammons; Buford Doyle (Papa) and Francis (Mimi) Black; her uncle, Charlie Sammons; and her cousin, Patrick Thompson.
Let us examine the petals of Lisa’s life by looking at some of the memories she left with her family and friends.
She often recounted the family times growing up in Dallas, Texas. One of her favorite memories has been recalling her grandmother “Mamu” taking her and the other grandkids to the “Secret Park”. It is such a great secret, that on a trip a few years ago, she went driving looking for the secret park but was never able to find the exact spot, though they believe they found an area of the park.
Another of her favorite family stories was the family’s affinity for Blue Bell Ice Cream. The family had a tradition that after meals at her grand-parents house, her grandfather “Papu” would serve a dish of ice cream to those who wanted it. It was revealed that the reason the grandkids asked Papu for the ice cream was because he served larger scoops than her grandmother “Mamu”.The tradition grew with apparent times when she and Aunt Casey would eat Blue Bell straight out of the container, without the use of bowls. Lisa has done her part to continue the tradition, passing on her love for ice cream to her kids – Joshua and Cailey. To celebrate her entry into Heaven, the family gathered on Wednesday evening for Ice Cream Sundaes at the family’s home.
Another memory that Lisa recalled every year is the Easter tradition she celebrated with her grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, the hunt for the “Golden Easter Egg” – the one plastic egg which had $5 in it. She has continued that tradition, by holding an easter egg hunt for her kids every year, filling the eggs with chocolate and with lots of coins. Of course some of the biggest petals, were recalling Sunday dinners, times at the lake, and vacations taken with her family, aunts, uncles and cousins.
She had a contagious smile, and when you got her to laugh, the smile was that much bigger. During one of the times in which she was battling cancer, Kevin asked the kids to go cheer up their mom and try to make her laugh. Joshua and Cailey went up into the living room, stood in front of her, pulled their mouths open, and stuck out their tongues at her, while rolling their eyes. It brought a smile to her face and laughter from her mouth. Later on, Kevin recalls driving to a doctor’s appointment, struggling with some development in her battle against cancer. Lisa looked at him, used her fingers to pull her mouth open, stuck out her tongue and rolled her eyes to get a laugh from him. And it worked.
Of course, one of the petals of Lisa’s life would have to be her love of Starbucks coffee. Kevin credits his enjoyment of Starbucks coffee to the fact that if he wanted to drink coffee with Lisa, he had to drink Starbucks. Some may refer to this as being a coffee snob, but the family prefers to think of it as being a coffee connoisseur.
Lisa loved autumn in Iowa. From the time they moved to Iowa until her battle with cancer prevented her, Lisa never missed making the annual family trip to the pumpkin patch to have a day of fun with the family.
Lisa was also one of the most organized people one would meet. She would meticulously put things in their place. This probably helped her in her last jobs, assistant in the Ashland Ridge Elementary School library and staff in the children’s ministry at Ankeny Free Church.
One of Lisa’s favorite petals were the friendships she developed throughout her life. While living in Florida, she became friends with several other ladies and has maintained contact with some even though she moved to Iowa 8 years ago. And here in Iowa, she found additional friends. Some of whom you would think they had known each other for decades given the strength and closeness of the bond. She fondly recalls the time her friends took her to Target after one of her spinal cord surgeries and she kept running into the fixtures, so they took the cart away from her. During the past few years she also had numerous trips to Panera’s for lunch or to Starbucks for coffee.
With all of the family Lisa has, the biggest delight came from being a wife and mom. There is no doubt that she and Kevin loved each other deeply and unconditionally. There is also no doubt that she loved both of her kids and was extremely proud of them. Of all the things and people who could cheer her, none brought her more delight than Joshua and Cailey. A few weeks before she died, she was finally given permission to drive again. One of the greatest moments of the past year was when she was able for the very first time to go to the elementary school and wait in the car line to pick up her kids. The smiles on their faces as they saw her, was absolutely priceless.
So how does a rose grow this beautiful, it is because of the strong stem that provides nourishment, water, and support. For Lisa that comes from her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, having accepted Christ at a young age. Her entire life, she has leaned on the lessons taught to her by her family. Having relied on Christ her entire life, the rose was able to bloom more fully and more beautifully.
As we know, every rose has thorns. Lisa’s thorn was the cancer that was diagnosed in March 2011. She spent the last 15 months of her life, trying numerous treatments to remove the thorns, until it became no longer possible to remove, and any treatments were causing other medical consequences.
On June 6, 2012, the thorns of cancer brought Lisa to the end of this life. As with roses that have faded, the gardener will prune the faded rose, and the rose will begin to branch and form new growth. While some of the stories / petals will be forgotten, the impact she had on each of the lives of her family and friends will never fade. The sweet fragrance will remain for years to come. We know, for Lisa, the gardener has pruned the rose on earth, but on June 6, 2012, all Heaven sang out as they spotted the first glimpse of a new rose bud in Heaven.
Visitation was Friday, June 8, at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50313. Funeral services were 10:00 a.m., Saturday, June 9, 2012 at Ankeny Free Church, 118 NW Linden St., Ankeny, IA 50023, with interment in Oralabor Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Ankeny Free Church Building Fund, or On With Life Foundation, 715 SW Ankeny Rd., Ankeny, Iowa 50023, web link http://onwithlife.org/dnn/Foundation.aspx