Patricia Winifred Menke Conrad
Winifred (Menke) Conrad was born July 30, 1917, at Exeter, Nebraska and
moved with her family to a farm near Vernon, Colorado, when four years
old. She died at the age of 95 on August 30, 2012.
The oldest of the three children of
William and Constie (Emanuel) Menke, Patricia grew up in the Vernon and
Wray, Colorado area. She attended Glendale School and graduated from
Vernon High School at the age of sixteen before entering Colorado State
College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado).
After two years of college, Pat
returned to Vernon to teach elementary school (Vernon Grade School and
Union Ridge School near Laird). It was when she returned to school at
Colorado State University that Pat met Edwin Joseph (Joe) Conrad, her
future husband. Pat met Joe when she mistook him for a friend of hers
who was in actuality Joe's closest friend from Joe's hometown of
During the next five years, Pat
received her bachelor's degree from Greeley, taught school in Erie,
Colorado, and worked for a short time at Boeing in Seattle, Washington,
and as a case worker at the Yuma County Welfare Department.
Shortly after Joe returned from his
World War II military service, Pat and Joe were married in Wray,
Colorado, at St. Andrew's Catholic Church on April 22, 1946. For
approximately a year, Pat and Joe lived on the ranch originally
homesteaded by Joe's grandfather Charles Conrad southwest of Denver.
They then moved to Wray where Joe and Pat designed and built their home
south of Wray, next door to Pat's parents, Constie and Billie Menke.
Their home was only a few miles from the original homestead established
in the 1800's by Pat's maternal grandparents John M. and Winifred
Pat and Joe lived in their Wray home
for sixty years. In it they raised their five children: William Joseph,
Ann Denise, Constance Alice, Robert John, and Kevin Patrick.
Pat taught for the Wray Public School
System, first at Wray Junior-Senior High School, and then at Buchanan
Middle School. After twenty-one years of service, she retired from
fulltime teaching in 1978. Pat was involved in various community, church
and social organizations including St. Andrew's Alter and Rosary
Society, Sorosis, extension clubs, bridge clubs and Pinochle Club, a
group of young couples who met one Sunday night a month starting in 1949
and continuing until their final gathering on New Year's Eve 2000.
A devout Catholic, Patricia was a
member of St. Andrew's Parish for over ninety years, first attending
Mass in the original church building which her Grandfather Emanuel
helped build near Flirtation Point; then in the new church to which her
father and husband devoted hours of manual labor to build; and, most
recently, in the current St. Andrew's Church building.
Pat was preceded in death by husband
Joe, her parents, her brothers Lewis E. Menke and Little Bill Menke,
brothers-in-law Ralph and Don Conrad, sister-in-law Virginia Cushing and
several nephews and nieces.
Patricia is survived by her five
children and their families including fifteen grandchildren and sixteen
great grandchildren as well as numerous special nephews and nieces. Her
Oldest son Bill and Linda
Conrad of Wray, their daughter Devon (Bruce) Witte and children Cole and
Jenna of Bakersfield, California; and their son Chris (Audrey) Conrad
and children Elizabeth, Will and Emily of Gretna, Nebraska.
Oldest daughter Denise Conrad of
Great Falls, Montana.
Third child Connie and Art Strobel of
Bethune, Colorado, their daughter Andrea (Matt) Guynes and children Adam
and Lanie of Henrietta, Oklahoma; their daughter Stephanie Strobel and
her son Tyson of Ft. Collins, Colorado; their daughter Karman (Seth)
Ebright and children Kade and Kandyce of Burlington, Colorado; their son
David (Karli) Strobel and newborn son Gavin of Bethune; their son Billy
(Jessica) and children Jamie and Julia of Bethune; and their John
Patrick Strobel of Bethune.
Fourth child Bob (Sandy) Conrad of
Hawaii and Florida and their children: Cameron (Samantha) and son Harley
of Gainsville, Florida; son John (Sara) and children Finn and Kylie of
Boyton Beach, Florida and daughter Amy of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Youngest son Kevin and Leslie Conrad of Woodland Park and their four
sons: Jesse (Brandy) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Luke of Colorado
Springs, Mick (Rachel) of San Luis Obispo, California, and Dillon of
Fort Collins, Colorado.
Before his death in February 2006,
Pat and her husband Joe shared almost sixty years together. Both with
him and then after his passing, Pat provided a legacy of love, grace and
care for her extended family, her friends, her community and her church.
On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, a
Rosary Service was held at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Vigil Service at
7:00 p.m. at the Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home, 427 Adams Street, Wray,
On Wednesday, September 5,
2012, 10:00 a.m., a Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Andrews
Catholic Church in Wray, Colorado.
Interment was in Grandview
Cemetery in Wray, Colorado.