Patricia Ann Hjelm

28 April, 19315 January, 2021

Patricia (Patty) Ann Hjelm was born in April 1931 to Claude and Constance Nash in Independence Oregon. She passed away on January 5, 2021 in her home in Olympia, Washington. She was 89 years old. When Patty was two years old, her family moved from Oregon to West Seattle and it was here sisters Donna and Sandy were born and became lifelong friends. She graduated from West Seattle High School in 1949 and began working at the Bon Marche in Seattle. In 1951 she married Richard Kemp of Seattle and within a few years was working at Boeing and raising two children - Chris and Russ. In 1959, the Seattle School Levy failed and kindergarten was cancelled just as Russ reached school age. Having left Boeing, Patty organized and taught a neighborhood kindergarten so Russ and a few other neighborhood children would be ready for first grade the next year. The family moved to Kirkland in 1962 and Patty spent the next few years as the local Welcome Wagon hostess for the growing Kirkland suburb. After Welcome Wagon, she worked in the Bakery Department of the local grocery store while planning to build a new home in rural Redmond. The family moved into the new home in 1968 and Patty continued to work at the bakery in Kirkland. In 1970, Patty accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and began to change her lifestyle. She divorced in 1971 and then later met a new man through friends - Leonard Hjelm. Patty and Len were married in 1972 and had been together for 38 years when Len passed away in 2010. During the 1970’s, Patty and Len lived on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle and worked as ushers for the Seattle Opera House. In 1979, Patty and Len purchased property south of Olympia near the small town of Tenino close to the Skookumchuck River. The next few years they spent their weekends and vacations in a trailer on the property and slowly built the cabin they retired to. For the next twenty plus years, Patty and Len travelled around the country, coast to coast, north to south, visiting friends, family and historic places along the way. Patty was proud to have visited all fifty states and especially that they drove through all of the lower forty eight states by car. She was quick to point out that Len did all the driving so she could relax and enjoy the ride. After Len passed, Patty continued to travel, with her sisters as travel partners. Together the three of them enjoyed traveling and exploring places including Nova Scotia, Canada, Key West, Florida, Savanah, Georgia and the Canadian Rockies. Patty had been looking forward to her final journey for a long time and wants friends and loved ones to be happy and rejoice in what she called her “graduation” - to be with her Lord and Savior. Patty is survived by sisters Donna (Gene) Coumbe of Seattle, WA and Sandra (Dan) Henry of Seattle WA; sons Christopher (Colleen) Kemp of Olympia WA and Russell (Peaw) Kemp of Lacey, WA; grandchildren Jodi Elliott of Lacey, WA, Jennifer Heay of Lacey, WA and Richie (Stephane) Kemp of Belfair, WA; and great grandchildren Madison, Abby, Cameron, Emma, Nathan, Lillian and Astraia.


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