Patrick Lee Stilwell, 82, of Colusa entered into rest August 17th, 2012 at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville after a short illness.
Pat was born on March 20, 1930 in Craig, Colorado to his late parents Harry Stilwell, who was born in Indiana, and Bessie Stilwell, born in Kansas.
When Patrick was 5 the family relocated to Orland, CA. He received his formative education at the local elementary and high school prior to entering the military. Pat was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy having served on the Destroyer Escort USS Raby from 1948 – 1952.
After serving he attended Campbell College in Buies Creek, North Carolina. In his 20’s Pat became interested in boxing and in 1957 he was a Golden Gloves regional boxing champion. Throughout the ‘50’s and ‘60’s Pat was a professional welder working on large scale projects for manufacturers, machine shops or his own welding shops based in North Carolina. He also taught welding at Wake Community College in 1966 and afterward accepted a civilian welding assignment with RMK-BRJ Corporation in Vietnam until 1970. He continued welding for the next 26 years, retiring from Yuba City Steel Products in 1996. On May 2nd, 1981 Pat married Mary Stilwell of Colusa in the house where they have lived since the wedding.
In retirement Pat was an inaugural member of the Colusa County Volunteer Senior Citizen Unit, a volunteer group created by the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department, and also worked for a number of years at the local veterinary facility. He and Mary attended annual reunions of the USS Raby personnel in various places around the US and through the years Pat enjoyed keeping in touch with his Navy friends.
Pat enjoyed his family, traveling, woodworking, Western movies, NASCAR, NFL football, Duke University basketball, hot dogs, peanut brittle and lots of black coffee. His passion for welding endured and he used those skills to create or fix metal and iron pieces for friends and family.
Pat is survived by his wife of 31 years Mary Stilwell of Colusa; children Brad Stilwell and wife Cheryl of Knightdale, NC, Trixie Perry and husband Tim of Zebulon, NC, Susan Stilwell of Wilson, NC, and Stuart Stilwell of Yuba City, CA; stepchildren Dawn Stilwell of Los Angeles, CA and Denny Stilwell and wife Rachel of Woodland Hills, CA; grandchildren Leigh Ann Lane, Kristin Maxwell, Patrick Perry, Vanessa Perry, Nick King and Olivia Stilwell; great-grandchildren MacKenzie Lane, Andrew Lane and Addison Maxwell; sister Betty Ponciano of Yuba City, CA, brothers Denny Stilwell of Corning, CA, and Butch Stilwell of Colusa, CA; He is predeceased by his brother Percy ‘Bud’ Stilwell, his wife Barbara, and brother Robert Stilwell, all of Willows, CA; and brother in-law Frank Ponciano of Yuba City, CA.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Aug 21st from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m at the McNary-Moore Chapel at 107 5th Street Colusa, CA. Graveside services and life celebration are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug 22nd at 11am at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 1741 Wescott Road, Colusa, CA. Pastor Tom Tripp will officiate the ceremony allowing time for friends and family to share their memories of Pat. Pallbearers for the service are Ron Stilwell, Flip Stilwell, Joe Stilwell, Paul Mello, Mark Shultise and Stuart Savage. The celebration will continue at a reception immediately following at Friendship Hall, Methodist Church, 511 Oak St, Colusa, CA.
Memorial contributions may be made in Patrick’s name to the charity of your choice. Thank you to extended family, friends and the Colusa community. Your love and support are greatly appreciated.