Patricia Jane Merritt Shadinger, age 81, of 102 Thurman Street, Carrollton, GA, passed away at her residence, Thursday, September 12, 2013, after an extended illness.
Mrs. Shadinger was born in Sheridan, NY, on October 27, 1931, the daughter of the late Nelson and Myrtle Merritt of Lexington, SC, formerly of Silver Creek, NY.
Pat married Ernest Par-ish "Ernie" Shadinger, and moved to Carrollton, GA, in 1950. Pat and Ernie shared a wonderful life and were married for 59 years prior to his death in 2009.
Patricia Jane Merritt Shadinger
Pat Shadinger was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and mentor. Her love for her family was evident in every part of her life. She touched each family member and each friend who walked through her door, and her legacy of love will carry on through those she knew. Her grandsons quoted: "She was a grandmother who was part mother, part teacher, and part best friend." The relationship that she had with her grandchildren was uncanny. "She listened to us, she guided us, but she never judged us," said one of her grandchildren. One of her greatest joys was her great-grandson, Levi. She loved to play games with him, watch him grow, and hear him sing "I'll Fly Away."
She also had a special relationship with "the outlaws" in her life. Her sons-in-law, Randy Jenkins and Keith Morris, and her grandson-in-law, Chad Lambert, loved spending time with Mrs. Pat, and she loved each of them dearly. She always loved cooking their favorite foods, and each of them worked around her home to make her life more comfortable. She loved them just as much as she did her own children.
Her precious daughter- in-law, Anita, loved her as a mother, and though she lived far away, she called "Grandma" several times a week just to talk. Anita took Grandma on trips, and came to visit her several times a year.
Mrs. Pat was also thrilled to be able to attend the lovely wedding of her granddaughter-in-love, Casey, and she was so happy that her grandson had a precious wife, and she was looking forward to the upcoming wedding of her grandson Zach and his fiancee, Meagan. She loved each of these family members not as an in-law but as her own.
Pat was born a Yankee, but she quickly came to love the Carrollton community as much as the peo-ple of Carrollton loved her. During her years in Carrollton, she supported and encouraged her husband, Ernie, as he served as a city councilman, on the board of the Carrollton Parks and Recreation Department, and as a strong supporter of the Carrollton Trojan Athletic Department. Thousands of young people, visitors to Carrollton, family, and friends have walked through her door for a great meal and a life lesson.
"Mrs. Pat," as she was called by many, loved spending time with family, gardening, cooking, read-ing, and challenging her grandchildren to a Jeopardy show or a game of cards. Pat Shadinger loved life!
She was a member of the First Christian Church of Carrollton, GA, and she retired from Carroll County Schools, Central Elementary, where she molded the lives of countless children for nineteen years.
Her most important job, however, was raising her six children and serving as a loving grandmother to her grandchildren. She loved each of the "Shadinger Six" for who they are, and always lent a loving, guiding hand. For over sixty years, she has made each family member a special birthday cake on his or her birthday, and she spent countless hours shopping for and wrapping that special gift for each one on Christmas.
Prior to her passing, she poured over her coveted antiques and collectibles passed down from her parents, choosing special remembrance gifts for each of her six children.
Survivors include her six children and their spouses: Steve Shadinger, Atlanta, GA; Janet Shadinger Johnson, Carrollton, GA; David and Anita Shadinger, Springhill, LA; Holly and Randy Jenkins, Whitesburg, GA; Phyllis Shadinger, Carrollton, GA; Marcia and Keith Morris, Carrollton, GA. She had eight grandchildren, two grand children-in-law, and one great-grandchild.
Mrs. Shadinger is also survived by her brother, Robert Merritt (Ruthann) of Pulaski, VA, and pater-nal aunts, Mrs. Mary Lois Peters of Lillian, AL, and Mrs. Lyndell Kintner, of LaPeer, MI, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by many precious friends who visited her often, and her very special friends Boogie and Nina Johnson, Talmadge and LaRuth Ayers and Amy Parker Hobgood who stood by her side daily during her illness.
Besides her parents, Mrs. Shadinger was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Parish Shadinger; brother, Richard Merritt; sister, Hilda Merritt Karraker; and sister, Betsy Merritt Hoisington.
In keeping with her giving spirit, Patricia Merritt Shadinger made the decision to donate her body to science and research through the Emory Body Donor Program so that those carrying on her legacy might benefit from the study of the medical procedures and illness that she has endured.
The family will receive friends from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 22, 2013, at Almon Funeral Home and will commence with A Celebration of Life for Mrs. Patricia Jane Merritt Shadinger at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Almon Funeral Home; Dwayne Hicks officiating with Randy Barnhart assisting.
Honorary pallbearers will be her loving grandchildren: Mikki Shadinger, Jeffrey and Casey Jenkins, Jonathan Jenkins, Zach Shadinger and fiancee Meagan Dilbeck, Amy and Chad Lambert, Levi Lambert, Zeke Morris, Ethan Morris and Will Morris.
Family and friends are invited to the family home, 102 Thurman Street, Carrollton, GA, immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Mrs. Pat Shadinger can be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer's Association of America. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.almonfuneralhome.com