Lifelong Delta resident Patsy Rose Harrington Musser passed away in her own home on June 20, 2013, at the age of 91.
Patsy Rose was born of pioneer stock on April 11, 1922, to Joseph and Rose Mary (Aebi) Harrington.
Her mother, Rose, born in Delta in 1885, was listed as an infant in the 1885 census. Her father Joe quit school after the fifth grade to go to work in Hammond's Livery Stable to help support his widowed mother and family of six children. Patsy Rose was proud of the fact that her mother worked full time as a milliner and buyer of ladies' ready-to-wear in Hillman's Department Store (later Holland's) in an era when there were few "working mothers." After her father Joe learned the livery business, he and his brother bought it from Henry Hammond. For the rest of his life Joe was an independent businessman, owning hotels, cattle and sheep ranches.
Her mother Rose lost her first husband, Fred Bennett, to tuberculosis. Her father, Joseph, lost his first wife, May, in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Her mother had two children from her first marriage, Charles Rockwell Bennett and Marjorie Mae Bennett Pomtier. Her father Joseph had one son, Joseph A., who was raised by his sister, Molly Hammond and family. Patsy Rose and her sister Arlene Harrington Schwalm were the children of Joseph and Rose Harrington.
Patsy Rose grew up in Delta during the Great Depression and graduated from Delta High School in 1940 as the valedictorian of her class.
She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a scholarship. While there, she married Robert Henwood on Oct. 17, 1941. Their union produced two sons, Michael LeRoy and Kenneth Alan Henwood. The marriage ended in divorce and Patsy Rose returned to Delta to raise her two sons, both of whom attended St. Michael's Catholic School and graduated from Delta High School.
Patsy Rose ("Pat" to her new husband) married Thomas B. Musser, one of the owners of Musser Brothers Ranches and also a member of the 1940 class of Delta High School, on Sept. 10, 1951. Tom and Pat raised Mike and Ken. After the boys' high school graduations, Pat and Tom started a family of their own. They had two daughters, Melinda Rose and Christie Marie Musser. Both girls graduated from the final two classes at the old Delta High School on Grand Avenue. Pat was proud of the fact that her four children (educator, college professor, medical technologist, attorney) were good people and able to make a decent living. She was fond of saying, "It wasn't easy, but you all made it."
Pat was a caregiver most of her life. In addition to raising two separate sets of children, she took care of her mother, Rose, and father, Joseph, in their declining years, served as a caretaker for her cousin, Genevieve Hammond and cared for her husband Tom for several years before he passed away on Oct. 19, 2008.
Pat was an excellent student in school and was particularly strong in mathematics. She was also fond of poetry and was a voracious reader with a special fondness for well-plotted mysteries. She watched the evening news and read the newspaper daily and enjoyed discussing current events with family and friends. Pat loved gardening and created a garden oasis on the 800 block of Main Street. In addition to large flower and rose gardens, she grew a wide variety of tropical and subtropical plants. Each fall she brought indoors nearly a hundred plants that transformed her living and dining rooms into an exotic garden during the winter cold.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents and four siblings. Her four children were with her when she died: Michael (Janet) Henwood, Kenneth Henwood, Melinda (Kim) Musser Hannafious and Christie Musser. Pat is also survived by three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren: Treve (Faran) Henwood, sons Lanyon and Teagan; Kirk (Jill) Henwood, daughters Kacy, Karsen and Kenna; and Edward Henwood, sons Lincoln and August.
At her request there will be no funeral. A private family service will be held to place the ashes of Tom and Pat together in their grave at Delta City Cemetery. Pat wishes to be remembered by "flowers at her side and grass at her feet."
Donations may be made to Harden Hospice in Montrose in memory of Pat Musser.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.
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