Patricia Ann (Groninga) Stewart was born September 28, 1954. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on March 1, 2021.
Patti was born in Morris, MN. In 1962, the family moved to California where her dad managed a turkey farm. This is where Patti developed her love for “unique animals” – including her pet snapping turtle.
In 1965 the family moved back to Minnesota when her parents bought the Villard Cafe. This is where Patti began her waitressing career along with caring for her little sister, taking care of the house, and going to school. Patti was always taking care of someone from a young age, she even adopted a stray momma dog with nine pups – sneaking food from the cafe to make sure they were fed.
Patti had a host of friends all through high school. She and her sister, Cheri, would open the cafe after basketball games so the other kids had a warm place to wait for their parents. She learned to be an entrepreneur at an early age – opening the kitchen and selling the other kids pizzas, burgers and fries.
Patti graduated from Villard High School in 1972 and went on to attend Alexandria Vocational school studying fashion merchandising. She had a flair for fashion and was always ahead of the trends.
She graduated from Alexandria Vocational school in 1974. After a brief internship in the Twin Cities she returned to her roots in Villard. It was then that she started her career as a salesperson at Bon Jos in Alexandria. Patti went from being a salesperson, to the store manager, to the owner of four Bon Jos stores. It was her dream job and the only job she ever had. Patti poured her heart and soul into her stores and had a special place in her heart for all of the girls that ever worked with her – she loved them like family.
Patti married Richard (Dick) Stewart on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001. Over the years they enjoyed traveling, spending time at the cabin, pontoon rides, drives in the country, Christmas dinners at their farm and spoiling their beloved dog, Bacon. They shared a deep faith and were committed to their parish, St. Nicholas of Belle River.
Patti is survived by her husband, Dick Stewart: his children, Tim (Kathleen), Maggie (her children Greta, Ben and William) and Patrick; her brother, Joe (Kathy) Groninga; and sister, Cheri (Jim) Brown; nieces, nephews, and more friends than you can put on one page. Patti is preceded in death by her mother, Anna; father, Joe Groninga; and brother, Carroll “Gene” Eschendahl.
Patti was one of a kind with a heart and smile that lit up every room. If she called you a friend you know she would be the first to get up in the middle of the night to drive 100 miles if she had the slightest thought that you needed her. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at 1 PM at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria with Father Steve Binsfeld officiating.
A visitation will take place on Friday, March 12, 2021, from 5-7 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Bell River, MN or St. Mary’s Church, Alexandria, MN.
Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory. www.andersonfuneral.net