A. Patricia's Story
Alice Patricia Pat Clemens, 87, died peacefully at her home in Lewisburg on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. She was born Aug. 18, 1929, in Rochester, N.Y., a daughter of the late George Dewey Bryant and the late Dolores Alfreda Bisky. She outlived her beloved siblings, Dolores Dennis, Jeanne Joyce, Marcella Caufield, Georgia Lennon, and George H. Bryant, but is survived by her dear sisters-in-law, Dorothy Gee and Mary Bryant.
Pat joins her greatest love and soulmate, Carl F. Clemens, who passed away Feb. 22, 2015. She is survived by their eight children, Carol A. Goonan, Carl F. Clemens, Stephen B. Clemens, Paul S. Clemens Sr. (Nonette), Bruce P. Clemens (Hong), Mark M. Clemens (Patricia), Matthew G. Clemens (Victoria), and Patricia J. Michalowski (Ray).
Pat cherished her many grandchildren and will be remembered with love by: Heather Crouch, Virginia Goonan, Timothy Goonan (Rebecca), Michael Clemens, Carrie Jo Clemens, Katherine Rea (Tony), Samantha Clemens (Jonathan), Rebecca Clemens, Kimberly Payne (Jonathan), Carl L. Clemens, Paul S. Clemens Jr. (Jessica), Stephen P. Clemens (Rosie), Bruce A. Clemens, Carl Velez-Clemens (Marby), Joey Clemens, Tanya Clemens, Eileen Margaret Churchill (Joshua), Brian Clemens (Anna), Molly Lucille Clemens, Abigail Clemens, Fabian Clemens, Grant Clemens, Declan Clemens, Ethan Clemens, Bethanie Clemens, Benjamin Clemens, Kellen Michalowski, Allison Michalowski, and Matthew Michalowski.
Pat was also blessed with several great-grandchildren who filled her life with joy: Abigail Armour, Brianna Camacho-Goonan, Nasandra Rodriquez-Goonan, Nasaniel Rodriquez-Goonan, Nathaniel Rodriquez-Goonan, Chase Clemens, Jaxon Rea, Brennan Clemens, Owen Clemens, Genesis Armenta-Clemens, and Estrella Armenta-Clemens.
Pat graduated in 1947 from Nazareth Academy where she was known as a bit of a tomboy and class clown. She once wrote, "I had to make many a trip to the principals office and my dad had to rescue me from suspension in high school quite a few times." She loved to play softball and basketball and would often organize neighborhood games, a trait that stuck with her throughout her life and ultimately led her to become the Clemens family Maven of Ping Pong.
In 1951, she graduated from Nazareth College with a Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology. She went to work as a supervisor in Rochesters Highland Hospital laboratory where she engaged in research aimed at improving the quality of renal function and pregnancy tests. It was here that she met Carl, who said it was love at first sight when he met his brilliant and beautiful supervisor. Despite Carls interest, Pat turned his advances down several times; finally explaining to him that her faith was the most important thing in her life and that she couldnt date someone who wasnt Catholic. The next time Carl asked her out, it was as his guest at his confirmation into the Catholic church. Pat realized then that she had found her perfect match, and the rest was history. They were married not long after on December 26, 1953.
Even though raising eight children is enough to keep anyone busy, Pat always found time to contribute to her neighborhood. It was common for the Clemens residence to have a knock on their door, asking for Mrs. Clemens to come out and play. She acted as Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters and Den Mother for many of her sons. Perhaps her most lasting contribution was the playground that she helped raise money for and build for Holy Trinity in 1981, which Father Hart commemorated with a plaque stating, Who gives a child a place to play, builds a palace for years to come. Selflessly have you served the young; they thank you with their joy and laughter.
After raising eight children, Pat put her background in science to good use and obtained her teaching certification. She went on to teach at several elementary and middle schools including Wayne Central in Ontario, New York, and Saint Ambrose in Rochester, New York. Her sense of humor and love of science experiments made her a popular teacher that inspired many children to pursue future careers in science.
Pat loved to garden, serving both as the president of the local garden club and the inspiration for many of her childrens own love of the outdoors. Pat enjoyed swimming, and Carl always worked hard to try to make sure there was a place for her to swim no matter where their RV vacations might take them. She disliked sewing, and you would be just as likely to find staples or glue mending a garment she fixed as you would the more traditional thread. She loved crosswords, mysteries, and binge watching TV shows with her family. She hated being late, especially to church, and was famous for teaching her children if broken bones were not involved, it probably wasn't worth crying about. She delighted in genealogy, and true to her love for Carl, spent much of her time researching his family line, as if it could somehow bring them even closer together. She was a talented writer, but often too busy to set pen to paper because she believed in making memories more than writing about them.
Her faith gave her great comfort and was the rock upon which she built her life as wife, mother, grandmother, friend, teacher, and neighbor. With each year, she strove to live her life in Christ and to inspire a strength in each of us lucky enough to have met her to stand up for what is right and change what is wrong.
A memorial Mass will be held at Sacred Heart of Lewisburg on March 18, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Following the interment at the Lewisburg Cemetery, there will be a small memorial luncheon at Sacred Heart.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Pat's name to the Saint Josephs Scholarship Trust at the Saint Josephs Indian School for Lakota children at www.stjo.org.
Published on February 13, 2017