Patricia “Pat” was born to Lawrence and Grace Smith in Crete, Nebraska. Her father died before she was one, but she adored her stepfather Lawrence McDermott. Raised in Omaha, she graduated from Benson High, attended the University of Omaha majoring in journalism. Early jobs included dipping chocolates for Russell Stover and working for a small-town paper in Iowa.
She married Cedric Meisel in 1948. For their honeymoon, they drove by wood-paneled van to Alaska where they hoped to homestead. When homesteading appeared too daunting, she and her husband started businesses in McCook and Hastings, NE related to meat supply and storage. They would move to Fort Collins, CO, where Pat and Ced owned and managed Country Boy Foods from1962-1974. She also worked as a bookkeeper for many years at Longmont’s Colorado Stone Company.
Pat and Ced had three daughters. Like other working mothers, Pat filled many roles: seamstress, Bluebird and Campfire Girl leader, gardener, knitter, and weaver. After retirement, she became an environmental activist fighting corporate hog farming near Long Pine, NE, and a community activist bringing jobs to Chadron, NE. She was a member of the Northern Colorado Yacht Club, Allenspark’s Hilltop Guild and Northern Colorado Weavers Guild.
Pat and Ced also traveled to Greece, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and most of America. A highlight of her life with Ced was sailing the southern California coast and coastal British Columbia for two years aboard their 38’ schooner “Sundancer.”
To friends and family Pat was kind, patient, genuine, smart, openminded, interested, generous, practical, and creative. In her own words, “My life has been an adventure.”
Preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Pat is survived by: Chris, Crawford, NE.; Ann, Denver, CO; Janet Meisel-Burns (Ken Burns), Windsor, CO.
The family encourages everyone to become an organ donor. Memorial donations may be made to DonorAlliance.org, the Larimer County Humane Society, or a charity of choice.
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