Patricia “Pat” Elaine Gansler passed away peacefully at home with loved ones by her side at the age of 82 on August 18, 2021.
Pat was born in Longview, Wash., on May 6, 1939, to Lylla Dale (White) and Russell Alfred Eisele. She attended Kelso High School through the 11th grade. She was married to Jay Allen Eby in 1955. They had four children and later divorced. On May 15, 1971, Pat married the love of her life, Neil Raymond Gansler. Neil’s work led them to Missoula, Mont., Ontonagon, Mich., Aloha, Ore., and in 1998, they settled into their final home in Kelso, Wash.
Pat was a homemaker who also worked outside the home over the years. She was employed at Longview Fibre for several years, then as a packer for a moving company, and as an administrative assistant at a variety of businesses, mainly insurance companies. Pat’s benevolent spirit was fulfilled when she helped others; she volunteered at the Poverello Center’s soup kitchen and Meals on Wheels in Missoula; Community Home Health and Hospice and Friends of St. John in Longview; and with her church friends making teddy bears for hospitalized children. A devoted and loving wife, Pat spent time nearly every single day over a period of five years by Neil’s side while he was in assisted living. During this time, Pat befriended other residents who were without family and frequently brought them their favorite treats and provided a listening ear.
Pat's grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her tremendous joy; her last, radiating smile was bestowed upon her youngest great-granddaughter, Olive. Pat and Neil started the “run and wave” tradition to send their grandkids off giggling; the tradition lives on! She is remembered for her thoughtful greetings sent to loved ones on all occasions; her stylish dress and shiny, coordinated accessories; being the consummate hostess of family gatherings; and her lavish array of holiday treats at Christmas. Those who knew her describe her as kind, empathetic, efficient, the Energizer rabbit, funny and fun loving, engaged, classy, creative, brave, supportive, strong, and capable. Most of all, she embodied the meaning of her middle name, Elaine, “bearer of light.”
Pat is survived by her children, Joni Kim Smith (Garry) of Battle Ground, Wash.; Kevin Eugene Eby (Sara) of Helena, Mont.; Monte Allen Eby (Lilybeth) of Ariel, Wash.; Teresa Rene Derochowski (Zigmond) of McMinnville, Ore.; 14 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; a sister, Marilyn Lundquist of Aberdeen, Wash.; a brother, Gary Eisele of Springfield, Ore.; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and her beloved pomsky, ZuZu. She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, her parents, and a sister.
Memorial donations may be made to Community Home Health and Hospice or Whistle Doggy Daycare, both in Longview, Wash. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park.