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
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.