PRINCETON — Pat Rod of Princeton is being remembered as a tireless volunteer who impacted the Bureau County community for many years and in many ways. Rod died Sunday in her home at the age of 77.
On Tuesday, Bureau County University of Illinois Extension Director Jill Guynn said Rod was instrumental in promoting and sustaining the University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H program in many different ways. She had served as a Unit Council member, 4-H leader, 4-H Fair superintendent and judge, 4-H foodstand manager, 4-H Fashion Board leader, 4-H Fair Review Committee, 4-H Expansion and Review Committee and more, Guynn said.
“Pat provided leadership and inspiration and was always right there working alongside staff, volunteers and youth to make the best better,” Guynn said. “Pat helped whenever she was asked. She was truly a very dedicated volunteer to Extension and 4-H. Pat was a wonderful, kind and giving person and she will be greatly missed.”
Jennifer Caldwell, 4-H youth development program coordinator for Bureau County, said she will remember Rod for her quick smile and positive attitude.
“It was always fun to be involved with projects when Pat was a part of it. The 4-H youth always looked forward to working with Pat on projects including Fashion Revue and sewing,” Caldwell said. “She encouraged everyone, boys and girls, regardless of their ability, to participate in the sewing and Fashion Revue projects, and she found a role for anyone who wanted to help. In 2008, Pat was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. We truly appreciate everything she has done in support of the 4-H Program.”
Sherry Hockings Todas, educational program coordinator, SNAP-Ed, for the Bureau County Extension program, said working with Rod in Extension was a pleasure.
“She was very organized and professional and always had a smile and a positive attitude. She made everything look so easy and was the best delegator I have ever met,” Todas said. “Throughout the year there will be so many occasions when Pat will be fondly remembered and missed. She had a magnetic personality, and co-volunteers and co-members were drawn to her for guidance and direction. When I think of Pat, I think of the quote, ‘Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.’ Pat epitomized ‘more.’”
Princeton residents Pat Quiram and Lou Brown also talked about their friendships with Rod.
Quiram said she met Rod when the Quirams moved to Princeton in 1964 and joined the Princeton Newcomers Club. Quiram later took bridge lessons and then joined a bridge club in which Rod belonged.
The two women were part of an eightsome which played bridge together for years, Quiram said. In time, that eightsome became a foursome of Rod, Quiram, Rosie Miller and Mary Lou Torchia. The four friends continued to play cards together for many more years, Quiram said.
“Though I’m not sure you would call it playing, since some night we only played six hands because we were so busy talking and laughing, and I’d still get home after midnight,” Quiram said. “We had so much fun.”
On many holidays, the Rods and Quirams, along with the Millers, Torchias and Dr. James Foresman and his wife, would get together and head out to City-County Park to make breakfast together.
Quiram said she will remember her friend as a very easy-going person, a very good cook and a very good entertainer, but not one to draw attention to herself.
“Pat wasn’t a showy person or one who bragged about what she did. She loved her family, her kids and grandkids,” Quiram said. “She was a good friend, and I will miss having her around.”
Brown said she had known Rod since the Browns moved to Princeton in 1969, meeting Rod through their mutual involvement with the Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. They served on the auxiliary board together for years, worked on the annual antique show sponsored by the auxiliary for 25 years and also worked together on the annual Candy Cane auxiliary sale for many, many years, Brown said.
Describing her friend, Brown said Rod was dedicated in whatever she did. She was friendly and outgoing, a hard-worker and always ready to pitch in and help others, Brown said.
“I will always remember Pat as a community leader, a friend, and as someone who was willing to work to make life a little bit better for others,” Brown said.
Services for Rod will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Princeton.
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