Patricia Ann “Dr. Patt” VanDyke has passed away
Patricia Ann “Dr. Patt” VanDyke, Maryville, MO, was born on March 29, 1937, to Tice John and Thelma Mildred Gibson VanDyke, in Wyoming, IA. She passed away at her home in Maryville, MO, on March 13, 2017. Patt grew up in Hanover, IL, a beautiful little town on the Apple River. Education was always very important part of her life. She joked that she was enrolled in school very early because she kept chewing through the rope that her mother tied her to the clothes line with. She graduated Valedictorian of the Hanover High School class of 1954. Following high school, she attended Northern Illinois University and then transferred to Wisconsin State University at Platteville, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1958. She then earned both her Masters (1962) and Ph.D.. (1972) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Prior to coming to Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University, Patt was a field worker for the Dictionary of American Regional English. She traveled throughout upper Midwestern and western states gathering data for this project. She also taught high school in New Glarus and Monroe, WI.
Dr. Patt came to Northwest Missouri State University in 1969. She had planned for this to only be a short stop. But like most others, she fell in love with the school and the community. During her years at Northwest she served as a professor of English, Director of the Talent Development Center, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dean of Libraries. She was honored with the Tower Service Award in 1994 and the Northwest Commitment to Quality Award in 1998. She was proud of her role in developing the principles that became foundation for the University’s Culture of Quality. And, she was also honored to serve as an examiner for the Missouri Quality Award. She was respected for her intellect, honesty, loyalty, fairness, and integrity. She retired from Northwest in 2001.
She was a published poet and author. And, she was an athlete and participated in college sports long before Title IX. After coming to Maryville, she enjoyed playing city league softball, basketball, and volleyball. She recently shared that her list of accomplishments should include the fact she once pitched a one-hitter slow pitch game.
Patt was preceded in death by her parents and younger sister, Norma Jean Blair. She is survived by aunts, Janice Gibson, Washington, IA, and Bernice Gibson, Keosauqua, IA; her brother in law, Robert Blair, Sr, Greentown, IN; a niece, Robin Baker, Huntington, IN; nephews, Robert Blair, Jr. Kokoma, IN, and Tim Blair, Garden City, ID; three great nieces and a horde of rowdy cousins. She is also survived by her Maryville family, Margaret Nelson, Amee and Brian Wilmes, Keenan Joiner, Dyllan Nelson, Briley Wilmes, Alyxis Beltz, and Anderson James “Sprout” Joiner.