Helen Patricia Anderson Wilkins, “Pat,” was born on March 17, 1932, in a small mining town called Spring Canyon, Utah, to Dr. Grant Y. Anderson and Elizabeth Edith Wilson. She was a St. Patrick’s Day baby, so she went by her middle name Patricia. She was called “Patsy” as a child and “Pat” as an adult. Pat passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family, on June 17, 2019. She was raised in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the third of four children. She attended elementary through high school there. After graduating high school, Pat attended Brigham Young University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She was a member of Val Norn Social Unit at BYU.
After graduating college, she worked at KSL radio for two years as a continuity writer. She met her sweetheart, W. Eugene Wilkins, Jr., through a blind date. “Gene” was a University of Utah alum and Pat was a BYU alum. This college rivalry made for very exciting football games when the two schools played each other. She married her Utah Man on October 9, 1956, in Pleasant Grove, Utah. The marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple in January, 1966. At the time they were married, Gene was in the army, so they spent several years moving around the country. Pat worked at the Pentagon while Gene was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Gene was later stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where their first child, Alec was born. They returned “home” to Utah, and the births of Edie, Margaret and Lucy followed.
While her children were young, Pat planned wonderful birthday parties, served as a 4H leader, and spent many hours chauffeuring her four kids to sports activities, school events, dance, and piano lessons. When her kids were young, she started the tradition of attending the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City every summer. This tradition grew to include her siblings and their children, becoming an Anderson Family Reunion. This tradition continues today with four generations of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and cousins.
Education was very important to Pat. She was an active member of the PTA. Once all her children were school aged, she returned to the workforce as a media coordinator. She loved reading and instilled that enthusiasm into her children and grandchildren. After completing additional education at the University of Utah, Pat returned to the classroom as a fourth-grade teacher at Sprucewood Elementary in the Jordan (Canyons) School District.
Pat and Gene worked as service missionaries at the Utah State Prison, a calling they both enjoyed. She loved traveling with Gene whether it was weekends at the Wildwood family cabin, going on cruises, or touring the National Parks. They often spent hot summer evenings with a picnic in Mill Creek Canyon. After Gene’s passing in 1998, Pat continued to travel with her children, Sweet Adelines and the Friendship Force. She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, baking, murder mysteries, and sewing Christmas stockings for her family.
Pat continued with her volunteer work and hobbies. She worked as a service missionary at LDS Business College for two years. She continued to sing barbershop with the Mountain Jubilee Chorus for 15 years. Pat was a volunteer at St Mark’s Hospital for 23 years, working in the Well Baby Nursery and St Mark's Outpatient Surgery Center. During that time, she completed over 5000 hours of service, and continued with her volunteer work until she turned 85.
Pat was an amazing wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. We will miss her dearly, and treasure our memories of her. In the words of the Bard, “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow. Adieu.”
Preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Grant Y. and Edith Anderson, her sister, Jean A. Sorenson, and her brother, Dr. Grant W. Anderson. She is survived by her brother, Dr. J. Paul Anderson, her son, Alec (Jodi) Wilkins, her daughters, Edie (Kyle) Kershaw, Margaret Matthews and Lucy Wilkins, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 11:00am at the East Mill Creek Stake Center, 3103 East Craig Drive, Millcreek, Utah. Friends and family are invited to visit Friday evening 6:00-8:00pm at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, and at the church Saturday morning 9:30-10:30am prior to the service. Interment will follow at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
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