ALBERTON — Michelina “Mickey” Patch passed away on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at St. Luke Community Hospital in Ronan. She was born April 10, 1922, in Cenadi, Italy, to Antonio and Rose Destito. Michelina Destito came to the United States in 1936 at the age of 14. She settled with her parents, brother Tony, and sister Orlanda in the remote railroad and logging community of Avery, Idaho.
She attended Avery School where she learned English as her second language. When she finished school, she went to work for the Milwaukee Railroad. She met John Patch in Avery. In 1945 they were the first couple to be married at St Albert the Great Catholic Church in Alberton. Mickey remained an active member of Saint Albert’s Parish until her passing.
Mickey and John raised four children in Alberton — Lonnie Patch (Russell Kessler) Falls Church, Virginia; Patricia (deceased); Tom Patch (Pam) Ronan; and Kathy Kibler (Mike Ferris) Salem, Oregon. She was adored by five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Mickey was an avid gardener whose skills reflected her strong love of family. Her garden is a history of family members and loved ones who passed on cuttings from their own garden. When she wasn’t working in her garden, she could be found walking alone or with some of her many walking companions. On several occasions they would walk seven miles for lunch and walk seven miles back. Is it any wonder she lived to be 97.
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Mickey was a strong supporter of Alberton athletics. She was a regular spectator at Panther football and basketball games. Mickey was a huge football fan cheering mostly for her favorite teams, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mickey’s priorities were faith, family and friends. She dedicated herself equally to all three. She is preceded in death by her husband John; her daughter, Patricia; her brother, Tony; and her sister Orlanda.
A Funeral Mass for Mickey will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Alberton, with burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Missoula. Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Albert’s Church, P.O. Box 329, Frenchtown, MT 59834. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at shriderthompson.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Shrider–Thompson Funeral Home.