|Birth: ||Aug. 5, 1929|
|Death: ||Jan. 2, 2011|
PAT AMSLER CRUIKSHANK passed away on Sunday, the 2nd of January 2011. She was born in Sherman, Texas, on the 5th of August 1929, to the late Neill F. Amsler and Mary Edith Wood. She spent most of her early years in Brenham, Texas, where her parents let her remain to graduate with her senior class from Brenham High School while they moved to Houston, Texas.
Patty enrolled in Rice Institute (University) where she received her BA Degree in English in 1950. Patty never became tired of telling everyone how happy and wonderful those years at Rice were for her. Her classmates never saw her without a smile and she was always a good student and a participant in almost every extra curricula activity offered. She was a member of the Owen Wister Literary Society (OWLS); Drum Majorette for the Rice Owls Marching Band; Vice President of her Senior Class; one of the ten Outstanding Seniors of her graduating class; Campanile Class Editor; and a member of the very entertaining Follies conducted by her class in which Patty arrived on the stage on the back of a motorcycle to sing, wearing a bright red dress, her favorite color all of her life. She loved recalling the story about how she and the other drum majorettes approached the Dean of Students to see if they could march in skirts shorter than the ankle length ones Rice required and thus be more like the other schools of that time. The Dean asked them to raise their street skirts they were wearing to about the length they would like to have their drum majorette skirts. None of them could raise their skirts higher than their knees. The Dean told them that would be fine with him. They laughingly felt they had been outsmarted!
The largest impact that Rice had upon Patty's life was to have a fine engineering student and Marine Veteran by the name of George W. Hansen in her Class of 1950. They were married immediately upon graduation and began their moving adventures to New Orleans, Kansas City (twice), San Antonio, and Middletown, Ohio for George's employer, Armco Steel. Along the way came Cathy, then George, Jr., and then Edie. Patty, in her loving and caring way, was a wonderful mother and a perfect "corporate" wife, as she and George raised their children, made long lasting friends wherever they lived, and worked together to meet George's obligations to Armco.
Patty found time to assist The Crippled Children's Hospital of New Orleans and its Auxiliary Board, hosting the hospital's gala with special guests Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. She was a volunteer for the March of Dimes and co-chairperson of its Easter Seal Drives. In Kansas City she was active with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organizations and the Kansas City Philharmonic League. In Middletown, she was active in the Parent Teachers' Association, the Middletown Garden Club, and the American Cancer Society. Her travels with George on his business trips and opening their home to entertain business associates and "oh" so many friends, were some of Patty's delights.
Patty's personality and her contagious smile drew others to her, and no one ever heard her say a bad word about anyone. In fact, if someone was criticizing another person, she always found a good word to offer on that person's behalf. Perhaps the most she ever said that might have bordered on criticism was that someone she had just met might not smile or laugh enough to meet her expectations.
In 1973 Armco moved George back to Houston as President of its Western Steel Division and Vice President of Armco, Inc. Patty did not miss a beat. She became an active member of the Houston Grand Opera and its Guild; the Houston Symphony; and the Houston Ballet Foundation and its Guild. While serving in these organizations she became very interested in an organization which at that time was new to Houston, the Houston Pops Orchestra. It was patterned after the Boston Pops with guest entertainers like Debbie Reynolds, Ray Price, and many others. Patty organized the Populaires as its support group of about two hundred women. The Houston Pops is now part of the Houston Symphony and continues as a fine addition to the Houston scene, thanks to Patty's early efforts.
Her husband, George Hansen, died in March of 1987, a few weeks after he retired from Armco Steel Company. Shortly thereafter, a long time friend of Patty and George, Robert Cruikshank, received the National Jewish Center for Immunology & Respiratory Medicine's Humanitarian Award and was honored for his establishment of the George W. Hansen Research Fund for asthma research. The fund was started in memory of George who had suffered from asthma for nearly 20 years of his life. With Patty's assistance over $500,000 was raised locally for the fund. Patty continued her work with the National Jewish Center and became a member of the Jewish Center's Society of Fellows.
She and Bob Cruikshank were married in October of 1989, and Patty continued her dedicated service to humanity by her active leadership in many of Houston's charitable organizations. One of her outstanding favorites was serving as a Docent at Bayou Bend. She was a charter member of The Houston Area Parkinson Society. She was a member of the Women's Fund and chairperson of one of its fund raising luncheons. When the Cancer League called her to assist she served as Honorary Co-Chairperson of one of its annual luncheons, raising in excess of $100,000 and also was recognized as one of its Pacesetters. She continued her fundraising activities for Project Orbis, the flying hospital which visited over 61 countries where its doctors performed surgery in efforts to restore the eyesight of over 12,000 patients. She was a member of the Medical Center's library and was subsequently appointed by Mayor Bob Lanier to the Board of the Houston Public Library. This appointment was always recognized by Patty as being at the top of her list because of the recognition by Mayor Lanier and because her mother had devoted years of her life to the library, including giving book reviews throughout the country. Very important to Patty was the recognition she received by the Child Abuse Prevention Network (CAPN) which led to a Proclamation being issued by the City of Houston declaring April 19, 1994 as Patty Cruikshank Day as the 1994 Volunteer of the Year. Patty was also recognized by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and the Houston Post as one of the Ten Women of Distinction in 1995. She and Bob worked together to further their community in numerous organizations including Texas Children's Hospital, Hermann Hospital, (now Memorial Hermann Hospital), The University of Texas Board of Regents, and Dinner Chairpersons for the Bush/Quayle fund raising kick-off campaign dinner in Houston. Patty and Bob were also recognized as Cultural Leaders of the Year by the Houston Youth Symphony & Ballet.
Patty was preceded in death by her parents, Neill F. Amsler and Mary Edith Wood. She is survived by her husband Robert J. Cruikshank; two daughters, Cathy Hansen Oliver and husband Richard, Edith Hansen Saville and husband Robert; one son, George William Hansen Jr. and wife Tammy; stepson George Irving Cruikshank and wife Marly, stepdaughter Eleanor Ann Moore and husband Christopher; her brother Neill F. Amsler, Jr. and wife Mollie; her sister Edith Joyce Hobbs and husband Melvin; and four grandchildren: William Hansen Oliver, George Zachary Saville, Lela Christina Saville, and Christopher Torrez.
There were also three wonderful ladies in Patty's later years that helped her endure the health challenges she faced: Febe Tala, Tomasa Ceron Salazar, and Cindy Meza. Words cannot adequately express the love and care they brought to "Miss Patty."
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Thursday, the 6th of January, in the Drawing Room of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
A memorial service in celebration of Patty's life is to be conducted at one o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 7th of January, at the Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where the Rev. Dr. Laurens A. Hall, Rector, is to officiate.
Immediately following the service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent Sumners Hall.
Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private interment service at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston.
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Created by: Elaine
Record added: Jan 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63711330