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1934 Patricia 2023

Patricia Arline Light

June 18, 1934 — June 12, 2023

Patricia Arline Knoll was born at home in Mainville, Pennsylvania, on June 18, 1934. She grew up in the nearby town of Cleona, the youngest of four. While in high school, her best friend invited her to share a blind date with Rick Light, a handsome young man from Annville who was home from college for the summer. From then on, whenever Rick was around, Rick and Pat spent many happy hours in the lovely gardens, bandstand and theme park in Hershey. Before he went to college, Rick had enlisted in the Air Force. He was allowed to graduate before reporting for active duty. While in training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, Rick received a pass that gave him just long enough to drive to Pennsylvania, marry Pat and take her back to Texas with him. It wasn’t long before Rick was sent to Okinawa for nine months. During that time, Pat returned to Pennsylvania to live with her parents and train as a stenographer in business school. When Rick returned to the United States, Pat followed him through eleven years of active duty and later four more years in the Air Force Reserves. They ended up in South Hadley, Massachusetts when Rick was assigned to Westover Air Force Base. Pat and Rick lived in South Hadley for fifty years, raising two children, Paula and Rick, and working to establish Christian community in the area through Living Gate Christian Center and later through College Church and Stony Brook Community Church. While at Living Gate, Pat, Rick, Paula and Rick were baptized as a family one Easter Sunday night, fulfilling Rick’s dream. Pat stayed home with her children during their early years. She and Rick grew in their faith, along with Wyman and Elaine Harrington, with whom they formed a quartet that sang at local churches and events. When Paula reached junior high school age, Pat became one of the junior high school secretaries. She enjoyed her work and was much loved by staff and students, but she really wanted to be a nurse. So in 1977, as Paula graduated from college, married, and left home, Pat entered a one-year training program and earned a licensed practical nursing degree. She worked for awhile in nursing homes, but her favorite job was private duty nursing for a special needs child. Always an avid learner, Pat even enjoyed attending school with her young patient, so he could continue to receive the 24-hour-a-day care that he required. When Pat’s private duty nursing job ended, she returned to secretarial work, this time at their church. By now, Rick had retired from twenty years as the media specialist for Amherst College, so he joined Pat in her work. They made a great team, spending many happy hours together in the office of College Church in Northampton, Massachusetts. In addition to working in the church office, Pat and Rick shared their home with people who needed a place to stay as they established themselves in the area. They hosted foster children, singles, couples, even a young family for months at a time, and later, missionaries who were on short furloughs. Pat and Rick’s son, Rick, and his wife Margaret raised three sons in nearby Pelham. One of the joys of Pat and Rick’s lives was active involvement in their grandsons’ care and upbringing. Even though they lived two thousand miles from the five children Paula and her husband Dan raised in Texas, they were involved in their lives as well. Yearly trips to Massachusetts and visits from the Massachusetts grandparents were a staple of every Darby grandchild’s life as they grew up. One summer, the Massachusetts trip became a work project, as the families of both children channeled their resources into painting and readying Pat and Rick’s house for sale. Eventually, the home sold and Pat and Rick moved into a senior living apartment in Hadley, where they quickly endeared themselves to their new neighbors. They loved living in the center of a busy town and enjoyed volunteering at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. Sadly, life became much more difficult as Pat and Rick both faced increasing health problems which ultimately led them to move into Dan and Paula’s home in Texas. God, in His mercy, had heard Rick and Pat’s prayers and blessed them with the desire of their hearts, that they always be together. During the last two years of her life, Pat was tenderly loved and cared for by Rick many miles from their beloved New England and Pennsylvania roots. On June 12, 2023, following a long and very devastating illness, Pat left her home on earth and entered her new home in Glory. She is survived by her loving husband of seventy years, Richard Sholley Light, daughter Paula and husband Dan Darby, son Richard Kevin Light and wife Margaret, grandchildren Kelly Stevens, Matthew Darby, Emily Franklin, Kevin Darby, Rebecca Darby, Tim Light, Alex Light and Jake Light, great-grandchildren Lily Stevens, Valerie Stevens, Julie Stevens, Gus Darby, Nya Franklin and Emery Franklin, and many, many extended family members, friends and loved ones all over the world.

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Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am

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