Patricia Kratochvil Brookings
April 27, 1951 - Nov. 9, 2023
Patricia M. Kratochvil, age 72, of Brookings, SD, passed away surrounded by the love of her family on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, from complications due to ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Visitation will be Sunday, Nov. 19, from 2 - 5 p.m. at Rude’s Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held Monday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brookings, SD.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or the ALS Therapy Development Institute Patty Kratochvil Fund www.fundraise.als.net/pattykratochvil or mail to ALS TDI, 480 Arsenal Street, Suite 201, Watertown, MA 02472. Rude’s Funeral Home will live-stream the Memorial Service at www.rudesfuneralhome.com.
Patricia (Patty) was born on April 27, 1951, in the Volga Community Hospital to Paul and Eileen (Mollenhauer) Aaron. Raised on a farm near Arlington, she attended Winsor 18 Country School and proudly graduated from Arlington High School in 1969. She started college in the fall of 1969 at USD, but after coming to her senses, transferred to SDSU.
On a snowy day in December, 1971, Patty married the love of her life, Mark Kratochvil. Their first married adventure began when Mark pulled Patty from the church to the car on a sled only to discover that the wedding party had filled their getaway car with snow.
Their joy multiplied with the arrival of their first daughter, Shawn, in 1972. Determined and driven, the new mother graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics in 1973. After graduation from SDSU, Patty and Mark moved to Vermillion. While Mark attended USD law school, Patty worked at a fabric store to support her family. Upon Mark’s graduation, they returned to Brookings, where Mark began his long law career.
In 1976, Mark and Patty purchased their house on Fifth Street. Their second bundle of joy, daughter Laurie, arrived in 1977. The additions and renovations to the house became a 47-year labor of love, and under its roof, Patty hosted hundreds of gatherings with a warmth, grace, and generosity inspired by her mother-in-law and mentor, Dorothy Kratochvil. Their home became the place for many holiday dinners as well as pizza parties with family and friends.
Patty’s vibrant spirit and zest for life extended beyond her roles as a wife and mother. In 1987, she took a bold step and opened Threads of Memories, merging her love of sewing with her passion for history and antiques. There was always a fresh pot of coffee in the shop. She ran the business until her retirement in 2021.
Patty served on the Brookings School Board and participated in various community organizations. She maintained decades-long memberships in the League of Women’s Voters, PEO, Book Club, Brookings Woman’s Club, and the Brookings County Historical Society. She was a charter member of the Coteau Questers, where she served in many leadership roles and eventually became the State President. At one time or another, she held leadership roles in every organization in which she participated, always giving generously of her time and experience. In 1987, the Brookings Jaycees awarded her its Outstanding Young Citizen Award; and in 2004, she received the Masonic Award for Community Service recognizing her lasting impact on Brookings.
The community closest to her heart was St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, her home for over 50 years. She served as a Lay Reader and Lay Eucharistic Minister, Vestry as well as many committees. Patty was one of the chiefs among the church basement ladies and would always greet a guest with a smile and a cup of coffee.
Throughout their 51-year marriage, Mark and Patty remained not only soulmates but partners, whether making bread and jam for Christmas presents, sharing the same walk to work, biking Thursday nights, participating in the annual Mickelson Trail Ride, relishing the time at their cabin in the Black Hills, or even dancing to CCR when doing the evening dishes. This foundation gave them the strength to manage the good times and the hard times.
Patty Kratochvil’s legacy lives on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know her. Her daughters exhibit talents that she possessed, with Shawn being an exceptional seamstress and Laurie a mother and hostess. Her grandchildren Elsie and Clark had the opportunity to learn many of those same skills directly from Patty.
Patty’s willingness to say yes to any adventure and explore the fruits of the world around her will shape the way her family approaches life for generations to come. In the course of a single life, she touched so many, and we are all the better for it.
May her memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to us all to drink from the well of life deeply, savor its flavor, and never lose our sense of awe. Our time on this Earth is too short, so stay open to its possibilities and, like Patty, keep a spot at the table for a friend passing through.
Patty is survived by her husband of nearly 52 years Mark; her daughters: Shawn Kratochvil of Tigard, OR, and Laurie (Doug) Carruthers of Brookings, SD; two grandchildren, Elsie and Clark; brothers Bruce Aaron of Lake Preston, SD; David (Ginny) Aaron of Brookings, SD; and sister Beth (Ken) Larsen of Spencer, IA; brothers-in-law Lee Kratochvil of Brookings, SD; Paul Kratochvil of Pueblo, CO; sister-in-law Ann (Mike) Holzhauser of Pierre, SD; as well as many other family members and countless friends who knew and loved her.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.