Patricia Ann ‘Pat’ Rick | Obituary - Republic-Times | News

Patricia Ann ‘Pat’ Rick | Obituary

By on December 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Pat Rick

Patricia Ann “Pat” Rick (nee Pokojski) 55, of Waterloo, passed away peacefully at 2:44 p.m., Dec. 17, 2017, at Barnes Hospital in St Louis, surrounded by her devastated family. 

She had fought an exhausting battle with cancer that could not rob her of her beautiful smile or crush her happy personality. She was an inspiration to all of us in how to deal with the adversity life can throw at you. She brought out the best in people and we are all better for having known her.

Pat was born March 31, 1962, in Belleville, daughter of the late Della Pokojski (nee Nettles), and the late Edward Pokojski, and was named Patricia in honor of St. Patrick.

 She grew up in Mascoutah and attended Holy Childhood Catholic Grade School and Mascoutah High School. Pat thoroughly enjoyed her childhood and often reminisced of spending hours playing with friends, having sleepovers, listening to her dad play his steel guitar with his buddies at home or at public dances, barbecuing, camping, fishing, riding horses and water skiing. Her only complaint growing up was that she was not allowed to keep a horse in the coal shed in the back yard.

Pat worked at the Mascoutah Pizza Hut while still in high school where one day in May 1979 she waited on her future husband, Mitchell Rick. Five months later, when he was between girlfriends, he recalled her sweet smile and fun personality and decided to find her. 

Mitchell was able to get Pat’s name from the manager based on his impersonation of the way Pat said “Hi!” Fortunately, Pat was between boyfriends at the time and they formally met Oct. 27, 1979, at the American Legion Hall in St. Libory through mutual friends. 

Pat and Mitch were married on Oct. 30, 1982, at Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah. Together they lived in St. Libory, Carbondale, New Athens, Belleville and finally Waterloo for the last 20 years. 

Pat worked in the business office of the Belleville New-Democrat for several years before moving to Carbondale. There she worked many long hours at the printing plant to support the couple while Mitchell pursued his engineering degree. 

She worked at Ernst &Whinney in St. Louis after Mitchell graduated until she became a new mom with the birth of Victoria. She then worked as a full-time stay-at-home mom, and had Katie followed by James. Needing a break from three kids all day, she began work at Fischer’s Restaurant in Belleville in the evenings as a hostess. Once the children were all in school, she went to work for Nester Realty as an agent and, eventually, the secretary for the Columbia office.

Pat enjoyed baking all sorts of good things and made the best pie crust, period. She would can enough vegetables and jellies to get the family through the winter and the kids would take the excess to college in later years, jokingly referring to her cellar as their supermarket. 

Pat was very creative with quilting and sewing, and many of the dresses the girls wore to school dances were handmade. Although her father had a green thumb, she always said it seemed to have skipped a generation with her, but that never stopped her from trying to grow all kinds of flowers. 

Pat also loved the outdoors. She once hiked across the Grand Canyon and loved hiking long trails to waterfalls or scenic views that were off the beaten path. 

Playing fetch with the dogs, whipping around on her zero turn lawn mower, working in the garden, baling straw and hay for her horses, and riding the horses on the trails through the woods around her home all made her happy. Her horses were her babies and she would spend hours grooming them. 

She was especially happy fishing and holds the current record for catching the largest fish from the family pond.

Pat was athletic as well, continuing to water ski into her 50s until her illness made that impossible. She taught all three of her children to water ski and had many fun hours skiing and tubing with her family. 

She played sand volleyball with her children and their friends against teams half her age. Everybody on her team called her “Mom” and the other teams would frequently ask, “How many kids do you have?” 

Most of all, Pat enjoyed dancing. She and Mitchell went to dances often and always brought the children along. She passed a love for dance on to her children and taught them all to be good dancers; they, in turn, pass that love on to their friends.

Pat loved the different holidays during the year and always had the house decorated for each month’s holiday. She claimed St. Patrick’s Day as her own, and spent the day with family and friends celebrating. She used to say, “I’m Pat Rick, but I’m no Saint.” 

As her children grew older, Pat got creative with Easter by using challenges from her favorite television show, “Survivor,” instead of putting on simple Easter egg hunts. 

Halloween always found her getting a group together and dressing as a theme such as “The Addams Family” or the rock band “KISS,” and she generally won any of the prize money offered. Naturally, the costumes would be hand crafted. 

Christmas was always the biggie. Pat had a tree in every room (even small trees in the bathrooms) and would place more than 250 nutcrackers throughout the house. She enjoyed many hours at yard sales collecting items to be used as decorations. 

She is survived by her husband, Mitchell, who has lost his very best friend; daughter Victoria (Sean) Barbour of Belleville, daughter Katherine (Sean) Burke of Waterloo, son James Rick of Columbia, mother Della Pokojski of Trenton, sister-in-law Debbie Pokojski of Haleyville, Ala.; brother and duck blind buddy Mike Pokojski (Kathy) of New Baden, brother Dave (Sue) Pokojski of Trenton; sister Mary Sullivan (Kenny) of Venedy; father- and mother-in-law Lester and Georgianne Rick of Nashville; brother-in-law Don (Jenny) Rick of Pocahontas, brother-in-law Tom (Holly) Rick of Carterville, and sister-in-law Mary (Brian) Heckert of Nashville; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, her horses Domico and Babe; and her dogs Buddy and Ranger, and her cat Shadow.

Pat was preceded in death by her father, and her big brother Tony Pokojski. 

Visitation  is 4-8 p.m. Dec. 20, at Quernheim Funeral Home, Waterloo, and 8-9:30 a.m. Dec. 21, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Waterloo, Father Osang Idagbo C.M. officiating.

Interment will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery, Tipton.

Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.

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