Patricia Finder-Stone, 90, De Pere, died Tuesday, June 10, at Unity Hospice after a brief illness. She was a wife, mom, grandma, registered nurse, educator, veteran, community activist, and adventure traveler. Her life was one of involvement and passion for causes to which she was committed.
She was born January 27, 1929, in Platteville, Wisconsin, to Marcella (Roseleip) and Arthur C. Finder, raised in Rock Springs, and graduated from Platteville High School after which she attended Columbia School of Nursing, Milwaukee. She was briefly employed as a psychiatric nurse at Cook County Hospital in Chicago but subsequently decided, with the Korean War in progress, to join the United States Air Force. Among her assignments, she proudly served at the Northeast Air Command in Narssarsuak, Greenland, an assignment she fondly remembers, not only for the nursing but also those off-duty hours spent hiking the glaciers or flying in formation over the fjords in Air Force planes. One of her memorable experiences was an invitation to dine aboard the ship of King Fredrik of Denmark, which later prompted her to get involved in the development of the museum at Narssarsuak.
Upon leaving the military, she married her dearest friend from her hometown area, Mark H. Stone. After living in Cazenovia, Two Rivers, and Mayville, WI, they moved to Ashwaubenon where they raised their four children, later moving to De Pere as they neared retirement. Mark, a well-known and highly respected area school administrator, preceded her in death in 1997 after 43 years of marriage.
Pat returned to school to become an honors graduate of both UW-Green Bay (Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology/Gerontology) and UW-Madison (Master’s degree in Education/Bioethics).
She received a National Endowment for the Humanities award for Interdisciplinary Ethics Study at Marquette University, and contributed chapters to its ethics publications. She was a Fellow in the Leadership Program of the Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Patricia practiced her profession in many settings throughout her lifetime. In addition to her Air Force service, she taught nursing many years at the Bellin College of Nursing and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
The love and respect which she shared with her students was a significant part of her life. She was recognized by both NWTC and the State Technical College Association as Teacher of the Year.
Pat was well known and deeply involved in health care issues. As such, she was a frequent consultant and lecturer throughout the state on issues relating to public policy, ethics, cancer, aging, loss and grief, and health care.