A memorial ceremony celebrating the life of Patricia Ann Gafkjen will be held at RiverCrest Chapel and Event Center once restrictions are lifted. Patty passed away Thursday, April 30, 2020 at her home in Broken Arrow in the presence of her loving family. Service arrangements have been entrusted to Bixby Funeral Service.
Born April 22, 1940 in Minneapolis, Patricia was the daughter of Lawrence and Daphne (Johnson) Pearson. Patty grew up in Minneapolis where she was known to be a daddy’s girl. She loved their memories and cherished the time they spent fishing together. Patty was also really close to her grandmother, Ann, who preceded her in death at an early age. Patty was always very sociable and had a lot of friends throughout her lifetime. Patty graduated from South High School in Minneapolis with the Class of 1958.
Following high school, she worked as a governess in New York and Florida and dreamed of becoming a nurse. Her father introduced her to L. Harlan Gafkjen, an impressive young lad fresh out of the U.S. Army. The couple married October 29, 1960 in Minneapolis.
Marriage and family life changed Patty’s career goals and she dedicated her life to raising her family. Patty’s children describe her as the most selfless person in the world, as well as the kindest, and most generous person you could ever know. Not to mention, her sense of humor to the end.
Patty’s Christian faith was unwavering, and she served many pastoral roles alongside her husband throughout the years. They served as missionaries and pastored churches through the Association of Faith Churches and Ministries. Even when Patty was sick, she was praying for other people.
An excellent baker and cook, everyone loved Patty’s gifts of banana bread, cinnamon rolls, and Norwegian lefse. Patty loved unconditionally. Her unconditional love stretched beyond her family to a host friends and loved ones who considered Patty to be their second mother.
Surviving family members include her husband of almost 60 years, L. Harlan Gafkjen; her five daughters: Valerie Coleman, Vicki White and her husband James, Christine Schulte and her husband, Karl, Michelle Sternberg and her husband, David, and Natalie Fyles and fiancé Luke; her grandchildren: Miranda, Jennifer, Michael, Matthew, Rachel, Brennan, Anthony, Stephanie, and Ella; her great granddaughter Rayna: and her siblings: Ronald Pearson and wife, Cindy, Linda Johnson, and Mark Pearson and wife, Luann. Patty was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Jimmy Pearson.
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