Patti was born February 22, 1935 in Jackson, Michigan, and she died May 25, 2021 at Providence Hospital in Milwaukie, Oregon following a short illness. Her death was a peaceful one as she slipped away to her place in the Church Triumphant. She was surrounded by the compassion and care of her ICU nurses after an evening of phone calls from loving family, and songs and prayers with her pastor.
Born on February 22, 1935 to Mabel (Johnson) Theodore Annadel Ritenberg, Patti was adopted on December 13, 1935 by Walter Egbert and Leona Augusta (Lierman) Schaem in South, Indiana. She graduated from Hustisford High School in 1953.
She married Lynn G. Redcay on her birthday in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Together they were blessed to have one son, Alan. She later married William Knuppel on July 31, 1976 and was widowed when he died April 4, 1993.
She delighted in the friendships of school, living with a group of friends in Chicago as a young woman, traveling the country as a young mom as her husband served in the armed forces, and making her way to Portland to live with her birth mother. In Portland she met and married William David Fish on May 13, 1995.
Patti worked in so many different fields: CB & Quincy Railroad, Kresge’s, making micro fiche readers for Micro Design; but her last 7 years of work were as a clerk for Fred Meyers.
Patti loved to spend her time with family. She was an avid reader, and spent many pleasant hours listening to music. Patti collected owls and was also an Elvis Presley fan. An avid knitter, each year Patti helped to festoon a warming tree for Christmas. The hats and scarves she created were given to warm those living on the streets. She leaves dozens of baby hats to donate to the local hospital that cared for her in her final days.
For 50 years Patti was a member of the Order of Eastern Star lately of the Mt. Scott Chapter #110.
When she prepared to move to Portland, she contacted area Presbyterian congregations to find a new church home. Colonial Heights Presbyterian (now known by the name Common Ground Presbyterian) reached out with walking directions from her mother’s home to the church—she never looked further to find a place to worship, study and serve. She joined the congregation on August 29, 1993. Patti was ordained a Ruling Elder January 26, 1975 at the First Presbyterian Church of Hustisford, Wisconsin. With the laying on of hands, she promised to serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination and love; and to be a faithful colleague in ministry in her congregation and in all the courts of the church.
Patti was faithful in her worship, study and service to the church. She participated actively in Bible Study, and in community conversations about immigration, mental illness, peace and justice, and leadership development. Her steadfast participation in worship stemmed in part from her love of music and in her hunger to hear and share Good News. In service to her congregation Patti coordinated the Jubilee celebration for her congregation and worked to help us build community within the congregation and beyond in connectional relationships for ministry and mission. Patti coordinated volunteers in our hosting of the 2016 General Assembly. She served on Session for four terms of service. She set up opportunities to eat together with “Lunch Bunch” and “Lunch Out!” and at numerous potlucks and soup suppers. Her invitation to share in her faith community encouraged others in her family to attend and join the church, with two serving as ordained deacons, and one as ruling elder.
Patti served as delegate to countless Presbytery meetings and in roles including the Nominating Committee. Her Jubilee activities included hosting the fall gathering of Presbyterian Women of the Cascades for lunch and to hear the first woman to serve as President of the Near Eastern School of Theology share about Christian leadership and peacemaking in the Middle East. As COVID-19 struck, she was selected and attended the last in-person meeting of our Presbytery to help change the by-laws and standing rules so that we might continue with on-line discernment together at future meetings.
Patti made many friends across generations. She knew how to make and keep friends even over the many years and long distances. The outpouring of love from her facebook page is just one testimony to her persistent care of her friends. She loved God, and she loved her family and friends.
She is survived by her son, Alan Scott Redcay; daughter-in-law, Theresa; grandson, Matthew R. L. Redcay; sister, Ruth Ann Eide and brother-in-law, Doug Eide; step-daughters, Debra Pulse and Michele Hunt; step-son, David Fish; nieces and nephews; step-grandchildren; and great-grandchildren in abundance that delighted her in so many ways.
She was preceded in death by her biological and adoptive parents; her husband, William (Bill) David Fish; as well as William Knuppel, and Lynn Redcay (Alan’s father).