CROMWELL – Patricia Frances Wessels Ness Rider, (Mom), 91, of Cromwell, Indiana, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 6, 2022, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on July 1, 1931, to John Joseph and Anna Jane Sciscoe Wessels, on their family farm in Allen County, Indiana. They preceded her in death.
She is survived by her children, Jane Bauer, of Cromwell, Jerome “Pete” (Jean) Ness, of Cromwell, Jackie (Bill) Fries, of Columbia City, Jeanna (Mark) Hagen, of Cromwell, Julie Leedy Mast, of Goshen, and Jon Ness, and Jenny (Chris) Smith, both of Syracuse.
The joys of his life were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Joy (Mark) Davis and his sons, Ian and Reed Davis, Aaron (Pat Lee) Bauer, Jaime (Lyle) Cunningham and his sons, Lee and Drew , Jessica (Chad) Lemler and sons, Colt and Barrett, JoAnna Ness, Kristina (Paul) Rabe and daughter, Eleanor, Corinne (Judson) Hildebrandt and daughter, Luna, Katherine, Nicholas and Samuel Hagen, Victoria Leedy, David, Grace and Joshua Ness and Sophia Smith.
Pat was predeceased by Lloyd William Ness, 64, on February 28, 1994. Her second husband, Paul W. Rider, 101, on February 11, 2021, and her beloved sisters, Mary Anne Brown, Adelaide Wessels and Elizabeth (Betty) Richardville.
Growing up on the farm, Mom was passionate about flowers, gardening and animals. The Wessel farm has always been a lively place, welcoming family, friends, farm helpers and those in need of a good meal. Mom practiced these lessons of hospitality and generosity throughout her life. She attended a one-room school in Arcola, graduating from Arcola High School in 1949, and took a year-long secretarial course at St. Francis College.
His first job was with General Electric in Fort Wayne. She then worked for Kreager Brothers Excavating and the Noble County Public Library in Cromwell.
On April 28, 1951, Patricia married Lloyd William Ness, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Arcola, Indiana. During their 42 years of marriage, they lived primarily in Whitley and Noble counties. The Ness House hosted many gatherings for family and friends: get-togethers, square dances, holiday gatherings were always a fun time. It was a home away from home for students and travelers from all over the world. Mum worked full time to care for seven children and was known to write cards and letters to keep in touch with her many friends.
She has always been active in her church and community. Mom was a 4-H leader, election committee member, Rosary Sodality member at Saint Patrick’s in Ligonier, and Our Lady of Good Hope in Fort Wayne. She has held positions with the Cromwell and Shoaff Park Lions clubs, as well as the Fort Wayne Tatting Guild, to name a few.
After dad died, mom spent most of her time with the children and grandchildren. She was still active in her community and while on a Lions Club “Sight First” work trip to Honduras, she met Paul W. Rider. On February 18, 2000, they were married at St. Joseph United Methodist Church and mom moved to Fort Wayne. They spent the next 20 years serving their churches, the Shoaff Park Lions Club, and traveling.
Mom instilled a sense of adventure and a love of travel in her children. Her life of travels has taken her around the world. One of my favorite excursions was to watch arctic wildlife and polar bears come out of the ice in the Hudson Bay/Churchill area. Mum was also a wonderful seamstress and mastered a multitude of lace crafts including tatting, crochet, knitting, battenburg lace, cluny lace and bobbin lace, which must have made her mother and grandma -mother happy, because she passed on the traditions of lace. Another of Mom’s passions was music. She played tuba in her school marching band. She was also an accomplished pianist and guitarist and sang beautifully. She sang with the church choir for many years.
Mom moved back to her little blue house on Cromwell’s farm, during Paul’s short stay in assisted living. We loved having her back on the porch swing, where she received daily visits from her loving family. We would like to thank Andrea and Candy for all their help in caring for Mom and thank you all for your prayers and strength. Our mother lived her life in service to God, her family and her country. She was a beautiful woman and she will be greatly missed.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 12, 2022, at St. Martin de Porres Church, 6941 E. Waco Drive, Syracuse, IN 46567.
Father Andrew Nazareth will officiate.
After the service, Mom will be buried with Dad, at Sparta Cemetery in Kimmell, Indiana.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 7 p.m., Friday, November 11, 2022, at Yeager Funeral Home, 1589 Lincolnway South; Ligonier, IN 46767, and one hour before the funeral mass on Saturday, at the church.
A Lion’s Club ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Yeager Funeral Home, followed by a rosary.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Noble County Lloyd Ness Family Fund Community Foundation, PO Box 127, Kendallville IN, 46755; a fund created to support educational, agricultural and leadership initiatives.
Yeager Funeral Home helps the family make arrangements.
Memories and condolences can be shared with family online at www.yeagerfuneralhome.com.