Patti (Mrs. Don) Aesoph, age 78, of Milbank, passed away on February 12, 2021, at her residence.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, February 19, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Father Gary DeRouchey will celebrate the Mass. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday, February 18, beginning at 5:00 p.m. followed by a prayer vigil at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Friday, one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will be at St. Lawrence Cemetery.
Masks are strongly recommended at these services per family request. For those who prefer or require continued precautions, webcasting and/or livestreaming will be viewable at the bottom of this page.
Let us tell you about our beloved mother, Patti Jean (Forman) Aesoph. She was born on July 18, 1942, to Frances (Chamley) Forman and Ezra Forman in Milbank, SD. She lived on a farm in Marvin, SD until 1953 when her father, Ezra, died. Frances then relocated the family to Egan, SD, where they spent 6 years. They returned to Milbank in 1959.
Our Mom met our Dad, who she so often called, Donnie, when she moved back to Milbank her Senior year of high school. She would tell stories of how she used to watch him, from her bedroom window, drive by her house very, very slowly prior to them dating. He has never admitted to that, yet, anyway. Of course, they fell madly in love and the rest is a wonderful history. Patti and Don were united in marriage on January 18, 1964, recently celebrating 57 years of marriage. We watched them work as a team in a very chaotic household of 6 children, while both working. There was never a dull moment.
Our Mom was a lifelong learner. Her involvement in the Centennial Study Club and Book Babes (Book Club)…what a great name, right?…provided her an outlet to share her faith and love of great stories with many. There was always a great conversation to follow if you asked if she had read anything interesting lately. Most times you didn’t even need to ask. She enthusiastically shared her love of whatever story was currently being read with the recommendation to read it, along with author information and title.
Our Mom was very adventurous. She did not require much notice to jump in a car or airplane for destination FUN! Which was anywhere she happened to be even if it was just at the kitchen island sharing a glass of wine with whoever happened to walk in that day. She loved each and every one of her friends deeply, maintaining and nurturing those lifelong friendships; from the Egan, SD, gang to high school friends, to her nursing school friends, to former neighbors, to gym friends, and to well, anybody. She had a heart for inclusion and was accepting of all. Such a rare and beautiful gift. She had such an amazing social network that continued to grow over her many years in Milbank where she gave and received love and support endlessly. Whenever she went anywhere, if there was anyone she knew, (when wasn’t there) within radius, she always stopped by to greet them. She, along with Dad, are people who gather others together. And she took every opportunity she could to do it. Just ask Don. She loved hosting luncheons or evening gatherings in her home. And why wouldn’t she? She was a wizard in the kitchen, always able to whip up something delicious at any given time. Her desserts were wonderful; buster bar, pudding cake, rhubarb crisp…well, the list goes on and on. Is there a word limit on this? Oh! we can’t forget the best ever chocolate cake, still warm and fresh out of the oven. Simply fantastic!
Mom made each and every birthday of ours special with fantastic birthday parties with our large, chaotic family to include special requests for the evening meal along with a layer cake which was reserved for that special day. Sunday night was a night we looked forward to with her Chef Boy-R-Dee pizza and, if we got to have a little bit of 7-Up, boy had we hit the jackpot that week. We all looked forward to, with great anticipation, as a family, the 6 pm Walt Disney episode or even better, the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz. Family suppers were always interesting and presided over by the same clock that is still hanging in the kitchen today.
Mom believed in us kids and encouraged us to reach for the stars, knowing we could all get wherever we wanted to go with hard work. In addition, she was always there to help us get back up. She was our biggest cheerleader. She was incredibly loving but could also give us a kick in the pants (two words…wooden spoon) when necessary. Some of us were better behaved than others (no names) and never received that honor. She seemed to have eyes and ears everywhere, and often knew of whatever shenanigan you had pulled, before you got home! She was forever there for us, and we knew it. We could call no matter what time of day or night and often did.
Mom was filled with gratitude. She always seemed to simply be ‘happy to be there’, wherever that happened to be. She personified the Dale Carnegie axiom “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.”
Our Mom had a seemingly endless supply of love to share with others, particularly her grandkids and great grandkids. She made several ‘grandma’ trips with kids to the cities to have adventures together. Rumor has it she muttered the words ‘UP YOURS’ as she pulled away, in dismay, from a drive thru window. It became the highlight of the trip and the kids gleefully shared it once back home. We considered banning Grandma trips but gave her a loving warning instead. Other than the forementioned, she was the greatest grandmother ever. She not only took notice of their unique skills and talents, but assisted in encouraging and developing them. She helped them all grow into who they are today and they are all better for it. It was always a treat for those that would go stay with her, especially the kids from far away Pennsylvania. Such a wonderful time and they always learned some new skill while there. Most recently, quilting lessons were given. How cool is that!
You may or may not have noticed our Mom was a bit of a clothes horse with her philosophy, simply being, that you could never have too many. (Well, duh) She took pride in self care and did it well. Dad’s biggest complaint was that out of four (yes, 4) closets upstairs, his allotment of space amounted to maybe 3 inches. Next time you see him, please ask Don if he got his TS card punched yet. He will understand.
Our Mom was a devoted nurse for 42 years. We were blessed by countless stories from those she had assisted with the births of their children; or the loving support someone received while she was caring for their seriously ill loved one. She continued her career as caregiver after retirement from nursing becoming a Master of Healing Touch. Her treatments provided many with comfort and she mentored others on their journey to becoming certified Healing Touch practitioners. Positive energy flowed abundantly from both her spirit and her hands. Parish Nursing and Hospice were two other passions of hers following retirement. She was wholeheartedly committed to both.
The foundation of our Mom was her Christian Faith, never giving us the impression she felt that anything was ‘up to her’. That faith is what allowed her to take her eyes off herself and minister to others so beautifully; not only as a nurse and in countless volunteer capacities, but truly, to whoever happened to be in front of her in any setting. She was a blessing, an angel on earth.
We received so many beautiful words about our Mom in a matter of hours after she left this earth. The outpouring of love for her that we have received truly helps heal our hearts. For this we thank you all…her Milbank family she cherished. We would like to leave you with just a few of those sentiments. Remember, we are trying to keep this short. “She, to me, was the Mother Theresa of Milbank.” “We have no idea what we would have done without her.” “Your mom was so kind.” “She was beautiful inside and out.” And this tribute to her: “Even in the last days she was still put together and caring for her family. What an amazing thing it would have been to see as she came to the gates and heard the Father say “well done, my good and faithful servant.” I can imagine her crown is chuck full of the prettiest jewels because she definitely earned them from her time here. I will continue to try to love and serve others the way she did. I am a better woman due to her influence. I love you Patti, and I will miss you dearly! Thank you for all of it!”
Yes, indeed, dearest Mother…. We love you and thank you for it all! Amen.
Patti is survived by her husband of 57 years Don Aesoph of Milbank; children: Michael (Pat) Aesoph of Uniontown, PA; Erin (Keith) Kreps of Gering, NE; Bridget (Scott) Dinnel of Lake Benton MN; David (Alyssa) Aesoph of Sioux Falls, SD; Thomas (Rochelle) Aesoph of Colman, SD and Steven (Amie) Aesoph of Jamestown ND; 20 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren; brothers: Clarence Forman of Vancouver WA; Marley Forman of Milbank SD; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.