Patricia "Patsy" Kaye Houchens (2/4/1947 – 8/16/2015) found lots of joyful moments in a life that she never let be defined by her physical and mental impairments. Aunt Patsy would say she was "retarded" when someone or something called for a definition from her. It never had a bad connotation to her. As a very slow communicator, it was Patsy's way of quickly summing it up and, often, shut down further questions. She was more successful with the game of life than many with far fewer challenges.
She graduated from high school (she, Steve, Jimmy, Donna and her parents FOUGHT her way through a school system w/out a special education program), she lived on her own and paid her own bills, had a great laugh, made a lot of friends, no enemies, worked at Workshop V, loved Special Olympics, spent plenty of time helping out and watching the world go by at Ernie's Fry Spring Service Station, went to Disney AND Vegas, danced right in front of the Fridays After Five stage by herself, and, inadvertently, taught a lot of people about proudly living with disability.
She was ready to move on to the next stage to be with Grandma, Papa, and Jimmy. She was loved at Trinity Mission this last decade or so (THANK YOU!), and she had lots of "kick" in her till the end. She was a survivor. Patsy lived 40 more (yes, 40 more) years than she was expected to by some. She was 68. People with Patsy's issues were ALWAYS institutionalized in the 1950's, but her parents, Ruby and Ernie, refused that option and taught her to be proud, independent and content.
Her whole family, all generations, played strong supportive roles to her at different points in her lifeRest in peace, smoke a Kool Superlong 100, watch Sanford and Son with Grandma and Papa, read the tabloids, take long showers, moisturize your skin, play your country music LOUD on your Hi-Fi, give slobbery kisses to kids, dance right in front of the stage all by yourself, run, swim, drive a car, have a boyfriend… do everything you loved doing and everything you always wanted to do, Aunt Patsy. You were loved greatly.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillandwood.com.