Patricia Ann Oppitz, 90, of Topeka passed away Friday, August 23, 2019. She was born October 2nd, 1928 in Hutchinson, Kansas to Amelia Chew. She lived her early years in Hutchinson through High School. At 10 years old her father left and her mom, Amelia worked very hard to support her even through college. Pat attended Hutchinson Junior College for 2 years, graduating in 1948. Pat’s dreams were always to attend Kansas State University majoring in Industrial Journalism which includes history and radio. She joined Alpha Delta Pi Sorority where she became the social chairman. She loved journalism and became a part of several honorary societies: Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Mu and wrote weekly as a staff member for the KSU Collegiate, the first year it published on a weekly basis. She even wrote for the woman’s page of the Manhattan Mercury Chronicle. Pat was on the junior cabinet of the YWCA and was secretary of her senior class of 1950. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Journalism.
She moved to Topeka and immediately landed a job with WREN radio, working alongside Max Faulkenstein. She was a copy writer for WREN Radio. This is where she met her soul mate the love of her life, Frank Oppitz, Jr and it was love at first sight. He preceded her in death on October 24, 2008. Their dating regiment was following Frank to all of his band events, playing the trumpet and he was a member of the Santa Fe Band group for many years. It wasn’t long before Frank proposed and they married on February 1, 1951. Their first little house was on Shunga Drive but with their first child, Larry and then shortly thereafter, along came twins, Connie and Mike. Frank being a master of all when it comes to fixing up houses, they bought a beautiful home in the Potwin Neighborhood. What a wonderful place to grow up for 25 years. The youngest, Jeanette, came along 5 years later.
Frank was now running a very successful business, MuSed, and Pat was home caring for the family. Once the kids were in school she became the first Girl Scout Leader of the Potwin troop and eventually became a Boy Scout Leader as well. Because of this connection she ended up working in the Executive Council office directing troops throughout Kansas. Pat always wanting to help people so she worked briefly for Bossler’s staffing creating jobs but found an opportunity to own her own business. She purchased the local liquor store on a corner and was so successful she moved out to Fairlawn Road. She was elected shortly thereafter as President of the Kansas Retail Liquor Association and held the title for 5 years. After selling her store she did retire.
Frank opened her world to the Arab Shrine Temple after they got married and it was his passion and soon became Pats. Frank was Potentate in 1970 and she was the First Lady. They literally traveled the world together and rarely do you see a picture without the two of them in it. They loved those times together. Pat and Frank are very dedicated to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and the Burn Hospital. Pat was also a strong supporter of the Topeka Humane Society.
One of her other joys in life was spending time with her Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters playing bridge twice a month. She would perk up every Wednesday morning when she knew it was time to see them.
Survivors include a son, Lawrence W. (Garrie) Oppitz, a grandson Richard J. Oppitz, son, Michael E. (Laura) Oppitz, daughters, Constance C. Oppitz, and Jeanette (Phillip) Surratt.
Her mother Amelia Chew preceded her in death as well as many aunts and uncles.
Family will greet friends 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 28th 2019 at Penwell -Gabel Mid-Town, 1321 SW 10th Avenue Topeka Kansas 66604. A funeral ceremony will be Thursday August 29th 2019 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, in the Sanctuary, 600 SW Topeka Boulevard Topeka Kansas. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Topeka.
Memorial contributions can be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 440 Clayton Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110 or Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st St. Topeka, KS 66604.
To leave a message for the family online, please click the "Share Memories" button above.