Sunday, April 14, 2024

Patricia I. Nakasone, 69

| February 28, 2024 12:00 AM

Patricia I. Nakasone, 69, of Ekalaka passed away Feb. 15, 2024, at Dahl Memorial Hospital in Ekalaka.
Patty was born on April 9, 1954, to Frank and Margaret York in Superior. She was raised in Superior with her three sisters and one brother where she attended Superior Elementary School and graduated from Superior High School. She married David after graduation on May 27, 1972, at which time they began their nearly 52 years together. To this union three children were born, Ladd, Toshio and Chioko.
Patty was a true ranch hand and known for her ability to buck bales and save baby animals, especially horses. She had a remarkable way of bonding with animals and nurturing them to happiness. We spent many hours pulling lambs, shaving dogs, patching up animals, bucking bales, changing irrigation lines, clearing out the irrigation ditch, and helping on Grandma and Grandpa York’s ranch. She also had a green thumb just like her siblings and father. Patty raised rabbits, goats, chickens, pigs, and any other animal people brought to her, even a skunk. When she had her own children, she taught them to love animals too, and taught all of us, even an islander, to drive on ice and one-lane mountain roads, hunt deer and elk, pick huckleberries, know when there’s a bear in the huckleberry patch, fish in clear creeks, and not to go anywhere in the mountains without a good dog.
Patty and David struggled to have children for eight years before being blessed with their first viable child. She felt honored to receive such a gift, and she loved being a mother. Everyone was drawn to her strong, nurturing personality, and she opened her home to many kids and families who needed support. Patty and David were Mom and Dad to many more kids than their own and all our friends knew where there was a safe place on the weekend with love and home-cooked meals. Patty and David didn’t have money to spare, but they made time to take all of us hunting, fishing, swimming, hiking, and anything else that got us out of the house together, and anyone was welcome. When we traveled to Dad’s work, we explored everything we could. Patty never wasted life.
Naturally, Patty knew she had more to learn and more to offer people. She went back to school at the University of Montana Vocational school and became a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1998, and worked at Mineral County Hospital until her rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis forced her to move on. As she battled these diseases, we learned how strong she truly was and what it meant to live life to its fullest, even when it was hard to keep moving. Patty was such a special person who taught kids that it was okay to stand up for what is right, to be different, to live life, to fight for all life, to be the black sheep, to pave the way, and to forgive and give back. She was that rebel, carrying worms in her shoes to go fishing barefoot, wearing pants to school, and telling the principal to put his dress on and walk to the bus with her if he didn’t like it, and doing all the ranch work that girls weren’t supposed to. Most importantly, she understood people and accepted them for where they were in life and whatever their hardships were, because she was once that person, or took care of someone who was.
Patty will be greatly missed by her; sons, Ladd Nakasone of Superior, MT, Toshio (Becca) Nakasone of Slaton, TX; daughter Chioko (Jake) Hammel of Ekalaka, MT; grandchildren, Mason, Tori and Haley Nakasone, Heather and Carson Nakasone, Masa, Hiro, and Mai Hammel; and her sisters, Frankie (John) Kelly of Superior, MT, Georgia Miles of Superior, MT; and brother, Duncan (Beth) York of Mashpee, MA.
She is preceded in death by her parents Frank and Margaret (Duncan) York; sister, Marty (Larry) Schoening; and husband David Nakasone.
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