Friday, January 11, 2013

Patricia Penton Leimbach - RIP

Most readers here will not have heard of Patricia Penton Leimbach. But, she's an author I've mentioned before, an author who made an important contribution to my life, although she never knew it.

My Aunt Gerry gave me an autographed copy of Patricia Leimbach's first book, A Thread of Blue Denim. She heard her speak at a conference. I was a new Library Director in Huron, Ohio, and I invited Pat to speak at the library. A Thread of Blue Denim was the first autographed book I ever owned, and Pat Leimbach was the first author who ever spoke for me at a library. To this day, although I bought her other books, that book remains a comfort read for me, the book I turn to when nothing else will suit. On top of everything else, I used some of her pieces when I did readers' theater in Florida. Any of the librarians who performed with me would recognize some of the pieces.

Rest in Peace, Patricia Penton Leimbach. You touched and changed my life, and never knew it.

Here is her obituary, as it appeared in The Chronicle-Telegram.

Patricia Penton Leimbach, 85, of Brownhelm Township, passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2013, following a short illness.

She was born in Amherst in 1927 and graduated from Amherst Central High School in 1945. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, did graduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, and taught for a couple of years at Henrietta High School.

Upon marrying Paul Leimbach in 1950, Pat moved to End O’Way Farms in Brownhelm Township, where she lived for the rest of her life, serving as an active partner in the family’s potato, vegetable, and grain farming operation. Her community activities included church, historical society, and book club. She enjoyed art museums, skiing, theater and cinema, and was an avid reader.

Pat was known nationwide in the U.S. and Canada as the Country Wife. She wrote a weekly rural life column for the Chronicle Telegram of Elyria, for 38 years. Her articles were also published in farm publications nationwide and were compiled into her three books: A Thread of Blue Denim, All My Meadows, and A Harvest of Bittersweet.

Pat’s notable accomplishments were honored as she was elected to the Amherst High School Gallery of Success, named a Distinguished Alumna of her college, featured in Country Woman magazine as an outstanding farm woman, presented with the Leaven Award by American Agri-Women, and inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Pat is survived by her brother, John; her son, Orrin (Cathie); her grandchildren, Kelly Bristow (Tom), Sarah, Lisel, Paul, Erika, and Shannon Leimbach; and great grandchildren, Michayla Burke, Riley Bland, and Preston Dudek. She is preceded in death by her husband, Paul; her sons, Dane and Ted; her sister, Mary Alice Kovach; and her brothers, Erik, Ted, Henry, and William Penton.

Pat donated her body to Case Western Reserve’s school of medicine for research and education. A memorial service, celebrating Pat’s life, will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at the Brownhelm Congregational United Church of Christ at 11 AM. There will be visitation at the church on Friday, January 25, 2013, from 6:30 to 9 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in honor of Pat may be made to the Brownhelm United Church of Christ, 2144 North Ridge Road, Vermilion, OH, 44089; or the Brownhelm Historical Association, P.O. Box 303, Vermilion, OH, 44089.


Joe Barone said...

There is an honored long-time tradition of farm wives writing excellent columns for local or regional newspapers. I have a friend who turns 100 this year who did that for years.

We pay a price when we make everything bigger and bigger, when conglomerates own even our local banks and newspapers. Our small town locally-owned newspapers sometimes have writers who are among the best I've read.

essay writing tips said...

How sad, wish I could have her books to read on.

Jane R said...

What a nice tribute to one of your favorites. She has left some wonderful memories.

Lesa said...


You are so right. I've read some other books by farm wives or writers for small-town newspapers. Their columns are humorous, touching, and much better human interest stories than you can read in most newspapers. We have lost so much. It's a shame that newspapers have to charge, too, by the inch for obituaries. I read a wonderful book by an obituary writer in a small Alaska town who included so much family and town history in the obits. We have lost so much.

Nancy said...

She sounds like a wonderful person as well as one of your favorote writers. I'm sure she must have known that you admired her since you invited her to speak.

Deb Fezzuoglio said...

Lesa, Thank you for bringing a long ago memory back for me. I remember reading her book when it first came out and loved it. I,unfortunately, no longer have it and surely wish I did! I suspect I borrowed it from the library so I should stop beating myself up for not hanging on to such a local treasure. So sorry to hear of her passing.

Sounds like you're getting settled in your new location and the library looks fabulous! It'll be tough to thicken that thinned out blood against the cold at first but the bonus of you being closer to your family is well worth every extra layer of clothing needed!