Sunday, April 2, 2017
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
4:30 PM Rosary
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
4595 Broadmoor Avenue, SE, Suite 230
Kentwood, MI 49512
Note: When mailing a contribution directly to JDRF, please note Patti Zehner memorial.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Patti Jones Zehner was a vibrant person who loved all people. She lived her life richly with positivity and being in her presence was a true honor. There wasn’t a person that Patti didn’t come to know in her generous way of making even a stranger feel like they were important and special. Patti had an immense love of life and modeled authentic and selfless giving to each and every person she met. Sadly, she passed away and her extraordinary life will be fondly remembered for years to come.
The 1960’s were characterized by great social changes. Many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. At the beginning of this promising decade in our nation’s history, folk music was evolving thanks to young artists like Bob Dylan and the birth of The Beach Boys grew in popularity. Meanwhile, in England, The Beatles were making hits that were exploding the music industry. In 1963, Edward and Rozann Jones welcomed home the youngest of their three children, Patti, born on February 4, 1963 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It seems incredibly fitting that she was born in what was known as the era of optimism.
Growing up in the quaint town of Schoolcraft, her childhood was memorable. She mainly palled around with her two best friends; Pam and Tammy, forming their own special trio! She was outspoken and charismatic even at a young and her strong-willed personality showed through even then. Her parents, a plumber and a homemaker, supported her all the way and instilled in her the value of a hard day’s work. As a teen, she managed her busy school schedule in addition to a job at McDonald’s. In the summer months, she also spent many years detasseling corn in the day’s sweltering heat. These days contributed to her strong work ethic where there simply wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t give her absolute very best! It was during her senior year of high school in 1981, that Patti would be blessed with the rich experience of working at Bronson hospital as a pharmacy tech. Little did she know at the time, that she would make a career of more than thirty-six years with Bronson! Patti absolutely loved each and every one of her co-workers over the years. She loved their stories and shared in their successes and sorrows as if they were her very own family. A perfectionist, who had her own way of doing things, she held everyone to the same standards she set for herself when it came to taking pride in their work. Often speaking her mind, one always knew where they stood with her, yet Patti always saw the good in everyone. At the end of the day, if she had made someone laugh or made someone feel they mattered, then her job was satisfied.
Bronson would also hold a special place for Patti as it was the meeting place of Doug Zehner, the man of her dreams! After seven romantic dating years, the two of them finally settled down after a Christmas time proposal! They eloped on a beautiful cruise to exchange vows on February 13, 2013 on the island of St. Thomas in the exquisite Virgin Islands. No place could have been more of a perfect setting for such a happy couple. They were true soulmates and their love for one another was infectious!
Patti had a variety of special interests. She was very artistic allowing for her to create many projects. She loved to scrapbook, sew, as well as paint. She was very practical and loved a good bargain! Over her lifetime, she also loved to travel. Some of her most memorable trips were to New York City, Hawaii, and many Caribbean cruises including a trip to Jamaica. As long as she was with family, she could go almost anywhere! Family meant the world to her and she was especially close with her nieces and nephew. Patti cherished each and every holiday, calling them extravaganzas! Extremely hospitable, she loved to host guests out to her lake home and looked forward to having them add their unique notes in the guestbook which she left for them to sign after they stayed. Nothing brought her greater joy than to make others happy.
By March of 2016, Patti was diagnosed with liver cancer. She always kept her positive outlook and never lost her zest for living each day to its fullest. Her sense of humor was unshakable and she remained passionate about people. Patti’s life was taken too soon and she will be deeply missed. A lifelong resident of the community she loved, her wonderful presence will be fondly remembered by all those who knew and loved her.
Patti Jones Zehner, age 54, of Vicksburg, passed away on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at her home amongst family and special friends. An open house to celebrate her life will be held on Sunday from 2-5 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive (269-375-2900) where a Rosary will be recited at 4:30 pm. A funeral mass will be held on Monday at 11 am at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church,1150 W Centre Ave.,Portage, MI 49024 with visitation beginning at 10am. Lunch will follow the mass in the church hall. Members of her family include her loving husband, Doug; two stepchildren: Kyle (fiancée Candice) Zehner and Katlyn Zehner; grandchild Mykah; two sisters: Julie (Byron) Somers and Sharon (William) Cody; three nieces: Stephanie (Billy) Beeching, Kelli (Ross) Termaat, and Ashley (Matthew) Hynes; a nephew, Adam Somers; mother-in-law, Shirley Barnett; and several special friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and a stepson, Cody Zehner. Please visit Patti’s personal memory page at www.BetztlerFuneralHome.com where you can sign her guestbook, share a favorite memory or photo and make a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF-Patti Zehner)