Floral 15


Patricia Sponsler

December 31, 1948 ~ June 23, 2018 (age 69)

Patricia Diann Wolfe was born in Osceola, Iowa, on December 31, 1948. She was the first child of Verda May Bright Wolfe and Donald Dean Wolfe. The family lived on a farm between Osceola and Murray. Patricia had friends in both towns.

As a little girl, Patricia loved playing with her “dollies” and took them to bed with her. If there wasn’t enough room for all of them, she worried about hurting the feelings of the ones left out. Her father put up a tree swing and a trapeze bar, on which she enjoyed hanging upside down. When she wanted to play house with her brother, Billy, he always persuaded her to play cowboys instead. Sometimes they pretended the livestock loading ramp was a stagecoach.

Patricia often walked or rode her bike a mile to the one-room country school, Ward No. 9, which she attended through fourth grade. Her teacher read books to the students, and one of Patricia’s favorites was Little House on the Prairie. During fifth and sixth grades, she traveled by bus to a two-room schoolhouse called Ward Center. When she went to town school for seventh grade, she wanted to be called Patty. She shortened her name to Pat after graduating from Clarke Community High School in 1967.

At the age of seven, Patricia began taking piano lessons from a neighbor. When she was in high school, she played for evening church services and the Sunday school’s opening exercises. She received a bar and pin for every one of her 12 years of perfect attendance at Sunday school.

She worked for the Clarke County Treasurer’s Office and the Saylor-Cooley Feed & Grain Company during high school. After graduation, Pat worked at Clarke County State Bank. It was while she worked at Central Savings Bank that she met Lee Sponsler. After they dated for a year and a half, they were walking in a cornfield when he asked her to marry him. The wedding took place at First Christian Church in Osceola on June 5, 1977. It was the hottest day of the year at 105 degrees. Their children served as attendants at the ceremony: Roger Byers (age 7), Jennifer Byers (age 5), Shelly Sponsler (age 8), and Lance Sponsler (age 6).

The Sponslers lived in several Iowa towns—Colo, Johnston, Derby, Humeston, Bedford, Creston, Bloomfield, and Waverly—as well as Vermillion, South Dakota. Most of the time, Lee managed or owned grocery stores. Pat worked at banks or for attorneys, although she quit her job after Nicholas Ryan was born in 1980, while they lived near Derby. She gave piano lessons and helped care for the family’s chickens, goats, sheep, feeder calves, pigs, and rabbits. Ashley Nicole was born in 1984, shortly after the family moved to Humeston. While living there, Pat and Lee led a community-wide youth group with up to 50 young people attending.

After the store in Waverly closed, Lee said he wouldn’t be back until he found work and drove south. His first stop was Pella, where he was offered a job as assistant manager for Super Valu. The family moved to Pella in 1994. Pat worked primarily as the closing agent for Home Realty before retiring in 2017.

Over the years, Pat and Lee traveled on work-related trips to Miami, Las Vegas, California, Cancun, the Bahamas, and Washington, DC. They also enjoyed camping with their grandchildren. Pat loved sewing and completed eleven denim quilts, one for each grandchild.

Pat loved the Lord her whole life. She was baptized at Murray Church of Christ when she was ten years old and enjoyed summer Bible camps at Earlham. She enjoyed accompanying worship services and participating in small groups. At the time of her death, she was an active member of Federated Fellowship Church.

When Pat was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August of 2016, God gave her this verse: “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). “This verse has sustained me through good times and bad on my journey. God is faithful!”

She said, “It’s been a wonderful life with lots of memories. Our children and grandchildren are most important to me and put smiles on my face.” Pat passed away at the Comfort House in Pella on June 23, 2018. She is preceded in death by her father, Donald Wolfe and father-in-law Kenneth Sponsler. Those she leaves behind to cherish her memory include her husband, Lee, children, Shelly Lynch (Tom), Roger Byers (Amanda), Lance Sponsler, Jennifer Wright, Nicholas Sponsler (Ariel), Ashley Sponsler (Charlie De Peña), grandchildren, [Shelly] Madison Lynch, Zachary Lynch, Elizabeth Lynch, [Roger] Marquaize Coughran, Caleb Coughran, [Lance] Jake Sponsler, Luke Sponsler, [Jennifer] Jacqueline Smith (Adam), Jordyn Huett (Cameran), Jerod Wright (Sophia Hobbs), [Nicholas] Layton Sponsler, Barrett Sponsler, Theodore Sponsler, great-grandchildren, Wyatt Smith, and three on the way, her mother Verda Wolfe, her mother-in-law Margaret Sponsler, her siblings, Bill Wolfe (Jane), Karen Norton (Ken), Dan Wolfe, siblings-in-law Rex Sponsler (Janet), Brent Sponsler (Julie), Wendy Merical (Todd).  Pat also had the pleasure of being a foster mother to Ed Lloyd and host mother to Anton Melnikov.

Donations may be made to:

Federated Fellowship Church
Pella IA

Pat's Family