Patricia Ann Hellman died September 27th at age 75 from metastatic pancreatic cancer complicated by a stroke. Pat was born and raised in Joliet, IL where she attended St. Mary’s Nativity grade school, St. Francis Academy high school, and Joliet Jr. College. She credited her formative years in Joliet with the development of her moral compass and working class values. She graduated from the University of Illinois Phi Beta Kappa and received her master’s degree in Latin American politics and was a Fulbright Scholar studying in Columbia. She went on to receive a BA degree in teaching from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Indiana University.
In 1970, she met her husband of 50 years, Rick. After a whirlwind courtship, they married and moved to Houston, Texas where Rick began medical school at the Baylor College of Medicine. It was there they had their first child, Nathan. They subsequently moved to San Antonio, TX where daughter Cathy was born. Then it was on to St. Louis where Rick did his Fellowship at Washington University St. Louis and their daughter, Susan, was born.
Their magical life continued for 20 years in Duluth, Minnesota where Pat was a gifted teacher at Duluth East high school and the children received their grade and high school education. Twenty-two years ago Rick and Pat moved to Indianapolis where Pat taught Spanish at Butler University until her retirement.
Pat was one of those remarkable people who was brilliant, kind, loving and humble. She truly was a person who made others better and selflessly gave of herself to others. She loved reading literature (English, Spanish and French), politics in a constructive way with emphasis on Latin American and American history, the ocean and great lakes, the BWCA, gardening, travel to Spain, France and South and Central America. She loved music and the arts and just being with her family, children and grandchildren. Favorite causes were the environment, education, and the league of Women Voters.
During the pandemic when the grandchildren were not going to classes in person she taught Spanish to them via Zoom and Skype three times a week. Pat woke up every morning with joy and anticipation as to what the day might bring and a belief in the power of love and kindness to change the world.
Pat is predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Anne Gregorich; brother, Joe Gregorich; son, Nathan E. Hellman MD-PhD; and two beloved, Samoyeds Zoey and Zeus. She is survived by her husband, Rick; brother, Bob Gregorich; daughter, Catherine (Tim) O’Malley; daughter, Susan (Christopher) Spatafora; daughter-in-law, Claire Pecqueur Hellman; and grandchildren, Henry, James and Teddy O’Malley and Sophie and Maxime Hellman.
Pat chose cremation and wanted a memorial service at a later date with arrangement by Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Funeral Home. Contributions should be made to your favorite charities.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at IUHP, Methodist hospital neuro intensive care, Community North Rehabilitation hospital and IUHP home hospice for the excellent care they rendered to Pat.
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