Theodore Roosevelt High School Class of 1959
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Theodore Roosevelt High School Class of 1959 - Latest News

11-20-2016 - Pat Patton Bengfort

Reflections of Patricia Ann Patton Bengfort

                     June 22, 1941 – November 3, 2016



This is not an obituary, rather memories of a remarkable woman, my friend.  It was 1954, 7th grade at Callanan Jr. High School.  Her last name was Patton, mine was Peterson.  That was how it began, a friendship of a lifetime.  How could it not be?  Pat had one of the most sweet, generous souls ever.  But as teenagers, we were interested in fun, and fun we had.  Callanan, and later Roosevelt were good schools, with good teachers, but, most of all, a great group of kids, the Rock n’ Roll generation.  Pat liked everyone, I think, everyone liked Pat.  She was one of those people that never met a person she didn’t like.  That even translated into her becoming a TRHS cheerleader – how she loved our school.  Later she would go to Drake and U of Iowa and become a nurse, meeting and marrying Jim Bengfort.  They moved to northern California and later Costa Mesa, south of Las Angeles.  Along the way they adopted Jon and Julia, made many lifelong  friendships, and had a great life.  But it was not all roses.  Pat was diagnosed with Lupus when she was about 27 years old.  Later it would be rediagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis and have painful effects on Pat’s hands and feet.  I never heard her complain, except about missing wearing pretty shoes… 


One of the fun things Pat and Jim enjoyed were the autumn outings to their sports bar with other U. of Iowa fans and watch Iowa play Big 10 football (always a cheerleader)!  On the more serious side, religion was important to both Pat and Jim, and they gave back by becoming ministers of Holy Communion and going to their local hospital and distributing the Eucharist to patients.  Life would later take a toll on Jim; he has Alzheimer’s Disease, but Pat always gave thanks that Jim knew her and the children and was happy in his day-to-day life.  Jon, their son, lives at home and has helped care for Jim these last years.  Pat and Jim celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2014 with many friends and family, and which we were privileged to attend.  That would be the last time I saw Pat, although we telephoned each other often.  I will miss our chats and her sweet spirit.  “Til we meet again, dear friend.


                                                 -- Penny Peterson Kaiser

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