Patricia Dawn (Sparks) Rochat, 84, of Sabinal died on July 22, 2021, at her residence.
She was born Dec. 10, 1936, in Victoria to Grace Florence (Long) and Virgil Lee Sparks.
Her mother died when Patricia was a young child, and her father later married Lillian Ida Wagener, who raised her as her own.
She married Kenneth Rochat on Aug. 27, 1955, in Inez. They met at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin when she was cleaning tables in the campus cafeteria. He was on the football team, and she always said she caught his eye because he could tell she was such a hard worker. He proposed that spring at a baseball game.
She was proud to say she had lived in 11 different locations, but the majority of her life was spent on the ranch north of Sabinal.
A lifelong educator, she had a 32-year career teaching elementary classes. She taught third grade in Arizona on the Navajo Reservation, second grade in Sabinal, and first grade in Hondo.
She almost turned down the first-grade position in Hondo because she didn’t think she would like it. As it turned out, it was her favorite teaching assignment of all. She found great joy watching the eyes of her students as they decoded the words while learning to read. She “officially” retired from public teaching in 1996, although she continued her lessons and magic tricks with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
After retirement, she looked for ways to serve her community, donating time to the Sabinal Public Library and the United Methodist Church. Many flower beds in Uvalde and Medina counties have been beautified with caladiums (elephant ears) she helped sell in the yearly church fundraiser. She also took joy in following the extracurricular activities of her grandchildren, rarely missing a tennis match, academic awards ceremony, baseball, basketball, or football game.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, of Sabinal; three children, Jennifer Rothe and husband, Eric “Rick,” and Sheila Rothe and husband, Richard, all of D’Hanis, and Jeff Rochat and wife, Trish, of Mason; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one brother, David Sparks and wife, Susie, of Cuero; one sister, Joyce Veilleux of Inez; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Shirley Hadley; and brother, V.L. Sparks.
A visitation will be held on Friday, July 30, 2021 from 6:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M at Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary in Sabinal, Texas.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 11:00 A.M at the First United Methodist Church in Sabinal, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Sabinal First United Methodist Church building fund, P.O. Box 327, Sabinal, TX 78881.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia Dawn (Sparks) Rochat, please visit our floral store.