Patricia Ann Wylder Rempel, 1929-2018
Patricia “Patt” Rempel passed away in Denver, Colorado at age 89 on May 9, 2018. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m. at the Shadowcliff Chapel, followed by scattering of her ashes off the point, and a reception in Shadowcliff Rempel Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
“Shadowcliff-Warren and Patt Rempel Endowment.”
C/O Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge, PO Box 658, Grand Lake, CO 80447
Patt wished for all who are able, to come together at Shadowcliff, to share memories and celebrate her life. Please join us if you can!
Patt was a beautiful, elegant, kind woman who was born into a well-to-do doctor’s family, grew up in a beautiful house in Albuquerque, went to Ward Belmont prep school in Nashville. She then attended UNM in Albuquerque, where she met Francis Warren Rempel at church youth group. She went to Bishop Johnson College of Nursing in Los Angeles for nursing school. She realized there that she was in love with Warren and returned to New Mexico after getting her BSN. They were soon married and began their life together. Warren grew up in a poorer neighborhood and they often said “We grew up on opposite sides of the tracks, but we knew our love was strong through our faith and always guided us in everything we did.”
Patt worked as a nurse and by Warren’s side in campus ministry, working for civil rights, peace, social justice, to help those living with HIV/AIDS, and to help everyone have enough food, shelter, and safety. She and Warren moved their family around for years — living in Manhattan, KS, Denver, Boston, Heidelberg, Germany and Grand Lake, CO. They spent time in Japan and many, many trips to Mexico on intercultural experiences and work camps. They worked to bring people together to have deeper connections to each other. Patt and Warren traveled to over 50 countries in their lifetime. Her daughter, Sue, and George took her to Puebla, Mexico to be with their Mexican family for her 89th birthday and great-grandson’s baptism, a final wish. She passed away 3 months later.
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She was involved in other service throughout her life such as PEO, Bread for the World, PFLAG, League of Women Voters and Women’s Society of Christian Service. She mentored and offered support and counseling to Pi Beta Phi students and international students, demonstrated in support of anti-nuclear and peace concerns. Patt gave to countless charities, to her church and to her sangha (her meditation group). She believed in sharing generously what she had with others. In her last year, she still attended PEO, weekly church, and her Thich Nhat Hanh meditation group and attended benefits in support of Standing Rock and other social justice concerns. She was an inspiration to us all.
Patt, alongside Warren, spent more than half a century creating Shadowcliff Life Center (now called Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge), serving as co-directors along with countess volunteers who gave their time and energy to help them build their dream and support their vision of a spiritual retreat center where all could come to renew and nourish their spirit.
From the book, On the Edge of Earth Alongside Heaven, The Shadowcliff Dream, Patt and Warren said, “The work” of Shadowcliff has always been to fulfill the originally stated purpose of the dream, namely:
“The nameless, faceless crowd in which we are all entangled, leads each of us to seek a new world of meaning in which we can discover once again what it means to be a person… To offer persons seeking a renewal of Spirit, the sacred atmosphere of this quiet retreat… To find in this sanctuary of the Rockies a new rhythm of life — the rhythm that nature herself enjoins us to rediscover and restore to our own being.”
In Shadowcliff, Patt and Warren said they tried to “create on these few acres of God’s beautiful Earth, a special environment — a spiritual culture — that embraces inclusiveness and acceptance, and a proclamation of the universality of God’s human family and the sacredness of all creation.” Shadowcliff is their life’s work and their continuation. Giving it away allowed it to continue their legacy into the future.
Patt was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Meldrum Kiplinger and Evadine Rae Wylder, her husband, Rev. Francis Warren Rempel, Ph.D. (12/14/1925-12/27/2013), her brother, Bill Wylder, her sister, Evadine Wylder and her son, Scott Wylder Rempel (12/31/53 – 08/21/89).
She is survived by her children, Sue (George) Rempel, Peter (Karen) Rempel, and grandchildren Alexander Leslie (Therese Russo) Thompson, Nicholas Wylder Thompson, Ellie (Aaron) Rorabaugh, Alanah (Brandon) Goober, and a large extended family of children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren from Mexico and the US.
Thank you to all who loved Patt, supported her and offered her life meaning over the years. She was eternally grateful to all of you, and our family is grateful, too.
Love from the Rempel Family
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