Patricia May Carini was the second-oldest member—and first daughter—of a large farm family in Western New York. Her middle name betokens the lovely spring month in which she was born.
A traveling salesman brought her and her future husband, Francis Carini, together, bridging what might otherwise have been an imponderable distance between modestly sized Springville and Buffalo, the “big city.” Though where she was from was small, the young Pat had a pretty big sense of adventure.
Through the tutelage of the Carini family, including a mother-in-law who was an extraordinary cook, Pat earned her Italian stripes, learning to render the family sauce recipe in a fully authentic way and converting to Catholicism.
Pat has two daughters: Susan, an editor and writer in higher education; and Anne, now retired, a former executive with Procter & Gamble. A stay-at-home mom who packed her kids’ lunches every day, drove them to school in the station wagon, and rewarded their occasional good behavior with her trademark butterscotch cookies, Pat was employed before she was married and after her daughters could fly on their own.
She worked in Buffalo at what eventually would become a vanishing breed, the high-end retail store. After moving to Middle Georgia in 1979, she volunteered her time at the Warner Robins Air Force Base, helping administer physicals, and she worked in a variety of capacities: again in retail as well as in a school lunch room and a daycare facility.
Possessed of a wonderful sense of humor, she would occasionally depart adulthood and laugh with her daughters until tears ran and everyone was holding their sides.
She was a lifelong lover of country music, especially Vince Gill, Johnny Cash, and Elvis. Pat was a tiny slip of a woman who relished eating and loved to eat sweets even more. She also was a huge pet lover, at one point adopting, sight unseen, an elderly poodle who had been chained in an alleyway in Atlanta and needed a loving home.
Pat found her grandchildren, Brandon and Allison, delightful and cheered their progress through life. She also could not have thought more highly of her son-in-law, Jeff. A marvelous pet grandmother, she spoiled no fewer than four Siberian huskies.
Liking everything in its place in her well-run house, Pat had a sweatshirt that bore the words “really neat grandmother.” In the wonderful illustration, it showed an elderly woman vacuuming up leaves under a tree. That was our mother, and we cherished every one of her many quirks.
Pat also was a self-confessed homebody, often saying as the family was about to depart to somewhere that had the rest of us excited, “Let’s go so that we can get home.” Although it means something different now than it did then, she is “home” in the sense that we will never fail to lift up her memory with the strength of our love for her.
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