BEULAH — Patricia Louise Jehle (Pinch), 83, of Beulah, born July 28, 1930, died peacefully at her home April 29, 2014, with Gerald, her loving husband of 61 years, and her family at her side.
In addition to her husband, Gerald Ewald Jehle, Pat is survived by her three children, Janet Jehle (Adam Strauss) of Lexington, Mass., Susan Jehle (Mark Hirte) of Deerfield, Ill., and Kenneth Jehle of Albuquerque, N.M,; her five granddaughters, Jessie and Eliza Jane Strauss, Katherine and Emma Hirte and Chloe Jehle; along with her “sister”(-in-law), Phyllis Jenson. As an only child, Pat treasured each one of her nieces, nephews and cousins.
Pat was born in Lansing and spent her childhood years in Lansing, St. Joe, Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids. She attended Michigan State College, from which she received a BA in elementary education in June 1952. It was there that she met the love of her life, Jerry Jehle. They married Dec. 27, 1952, and moved to Fort Bragg, N.C., where Jerry would serve his final year and a half in the Army.
Pat had many remarkable gifts, and committed her time and effort to multiple groups and organizations throughout her life. Pat’s generosity was fueled by her overarching love of people and her passionate belief that her work could improve others’ lives.
Though her public school teaching career was truncated by her move to North Carolina and the birth of her first child, her mother’s oft repeated refrain, “If you can read, there’s nothing you can’t do” provided her with the self confidence that led to her excellence in the art of upholstery, couture fashion, wallpapering and cooking — any of which might have been individual career paths had she not made her family the primary beneficiaries of these arts.
When her youngest child entered school, Pat’s love of art and teaching led to a 13-year commitment to the Detroit Institute of Art’s outreach program “Art to the Schools.” Pat devoted her days to working at the DIA and in the Detroit Public Schools. There she discovered a kind of satisfaction through work that many only hope for. She deepened her knowledge of art and its role in human history while simultaneously building both greater understanding and a sense of possibility in the children she reached weekly.