Patricia J. (Tomlinson) Brookhouser

June 26, 1937January 16, 2022
Obituary of Patricia J. (Tomlinson) Brookhouser
Patricia J. (Tomlinson) Brookhouser, age 84, of Lincoln, passed away peacefully in the arms of her loving family on Sunday, January 16, 2022. Born June 26, 1937 in O'Neill, NE to Richard and Doris Tomlinson, Pat is survived by her children, James (and D) Brookhouser, Tom (and Tammy) Brookhouser, Don (and Jeff) Webber, Lisa Poppas; 2 brothers, Dennis Tomlinson, Casey Tomlinson; ex-husband Larry Brookhouser; grandchildren, Jeff McCoy, Joshua Brookhouser, Zachariah Rehak, Natasha Schaefer, Makenzie Barry, Kylie Michael, Tara Brookhouser, Zach Martin, Lynzi Martin, Sydni Tew, Kayla Totusek, Katelyn Meidinger; 10 great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way. She was preceded in death by her grandchildren Jessica, Ashley and Colton, her parents and 6 siblings. Visitation will be Friday, January 21, 2022 at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 S 14th St. Lincoln, NE 68512 from 5-7 pm. A celebration of life will follow at 10 am Saturday, January 22, 2022. Memorials to the family will be sent onto St. Jude's Children's Hospital in memory of their mother. Now that we have the 'stats' taken care of, who was Pat? She loved her family and chocolate, not necessarily in that order. But seriously, as one who knew her could attest, she was much more layered than that. Pat was not one to run away from a challenge, if anything she stood fierce and seemingly dared the world around her to try and stop her. She was a woman that couldn't be slowed down or held back, even in the very end she left this world reminding those around her that she loved them, followed with giving a little piece of her mind, as if to be saying "I'll be watching you, so behave!" She knew no boundaries or limitations and instilled that in each of her children. From the very beginning, growing up in O’Neill Nebraska with a full house, the oldest girl of nine brothers (6) and sisters (2). It was a typical large Irish family from hair pulling to proper Sunday suppers. She learned the importance of hard work, honor, integrity, fairness, and doing the right thing. Most importantly, the value of family. Sticking together, watching out for each other, fighting for and sometimes fighting with, each other. But ultimately coming out the other side with a great story. Ones that would be shared year after year at the great Tomlinson family reunions. Here you would always find her sitting with her siblings around a table full of food, staples of fried chicken, potato salad, and at least 6 chocolate cakes, laughing, arguing about Husker football, and each of them smiling while sharing the same stories over and over. A tradition that the next generation has carried on.After graduating from Saint Mary's High School in 1955, Pat went off to start a life and a family of her own marrying Larry Brookhouser in 1957. This new life wasn’t filled with thornless roses, but you would hardly have known as Pat was one of the strongest women and the true matriarch of the family. Soon into her marriage to Larry, she was blessed with James (Jimmy), after a couple of losses, this new baby brought her much joy. She used to rock Jimmy while reading to him for hours. Not long afterward came even more joy with the births of Tom (Tommy), Don (Donny), and her baby girl, Lisa. Those hours spent reading were turned towards raising, disciplining, teaching, rearing, disciplining, loving and disciplining a house full of energetic kids of her own. Through the years the family lived in Greeley, Norfolk, and ultimately planted deep roots in Lincoln where she and Larry raised a household of 6 in a small 4 bedroom house with only 1 bathroom, where the kids never once felt like they went without. Pat was a hard-working homemaker and mother for all of their formative years. Not until Lisa started school, did she work outside the home. She worked as the executive housekeeper for many years at the Lincoln Hilton where she was later followed by Jim, Tom and Don all working in various departments at the same hotel. She found a lot of joy in working and diligently saved all of her tips in order for the family to take a vacation together each year. While never dining at fancy restaurants and lunch was usually a bologna sandwich at a rest stop, she took the time to stop to pick up a magnet or more often a rock or to get a family photo at every single state line. She made memories that are still vivid for each of her kids today. She knew the importance of education and she imparted that in each of her children, who went onto college immediately following high school without a second thought. She herself, in her early 50’s, went to Hastings College and studied hard to graduate with her associate's degree. This was a very proud moment for her and her family. After early retirement from the hotel industry, Pat continued her love of family, care giver, nurturer, and story teller as nanny for her granddaughters, Mackenzie, Kylie, and Tara for many years. Pat not only loved raising her family, working hard, and going to school, she loved to help where she could. Up until the end, she was a giver, whether it was saving bananas for a friend at Hillcrest or raising her eyebrow when she thought one of her friends was not being treated fairly. We all know what that eyebrow raise meant. If you were ever on the receiving end of one of her looks, you knew. She had always been that way, whether wagging a finger or organizing a cub scout meeting, speaking her mind while serving on the PTA or as a resident representative at each of her long-term care facilities. She had a love of reading, string art, homemade craft projects, and could sit and color for hours and hours and hours. Giving to others was most definitely Pat's love language. She was the neighborhood mom. She had the respect of all of the neighborhood kids, weather by love or perhaps a bit of fear. She wasn't necessarily stubborn, but she did stand firm for things that she believed in. She wasn't much of a glass half full type of a person, unless she was talking about one of her grandkids; she wasn't necessarily glass half empty either, she was more of a who the hell is drinking out of my glass type. She taught the value of hard work and as a result her children have excelled in each of their careers. James is working for Intel, designing microprocessors, Tom is a Captain with the Lancaster Sheriff's department, Don is part of the HR leadership team for the 4th largest bank in the US, and Lisa has helped lead the administration of many successful health care providers. But above all, she imparted the importance of family, creating memories and making time to appreciate the small things as those are often-times the most important. She made up some of the best games, made sure everyone had a good time, would always have a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a thought to share, a smile of appreciation, or a look of disapproval. Everyone always knew where they stood with Pat. She wore her heart on her sleeve and her opinion always at the ready. She could be your biggest advocate or any ornery obstacle. She loved to make us laugh, most often times an off-colored joke or an inappropriate comment that would make each of her grown sons blush or her daughter shake her head, she even liked to scare the grandkids with spooky stories. While she loved her siblings and her kids to no end, her soft spot was her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her eyes would light up and her smile broaden when they would walk into the room. Her family was her life, her proudest achievement, and her greatest legacy. There really is no end to the stories that could be told about Pat Brookhouser. Stories that will live on in all of us, she loved us all so hard, cared so deeply, and created moments that won't ever leave our hearts and minds. If the walls could speak, the adventures she went on, the schoolgirl days with the 'Patty's', the quiet days watching her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow, not one moment will be forgotten. We will continue to shed tears wanting just one more memory, and we will laugh out loud while driving in heavy traffic because we can almost hear what she would be saying. We will always order the chocolate cake, we'll never let the ketchup bottle go empty, and we'll always keep a secret stash of candy. Our hearts are full and warm because she was in our lives, rest well Pat, Mom, Aunt Patty, Grandma Patty, G-ma, Grams, Great-Grandma... you live on in us.

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  • Jeff McCoy Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joshua Brookhouser Honorary Pallbearer
  • Andy Totusek Honorary Pallbearer
  • Austin Barry Honorary Pallbearer
  • Alex Michael Honorary Pallbearer
  • Jeff Webber Honorary Pallbearer

Past Services

Friday, January 21, 2022


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Celebration of Life