A memorial service celebrating Pat's life will be held Sunday, August 8, 2021, from 1 to 4 pm at Pat's home on Duck Island, 285 Asharoken Avenue, Northport. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Charles Hospital. Please join the Rittenhouse family and bring your laughter and your memories.
Kathleen Patricia Rittenhouse
April 28, 1932-August 2, 2021
Pat Rittenhouse passed away peacefully in her home on Asharoken, Northport, New York on August 2, 2021, at 89 years old.
Pat leaves her beloved children Georgia, Donna, Laura, John and Paul. She was cherished by her twenty grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. Pat was predeceased in 2006 by her husband of 54 years, George Virgil Rittenhouse.
Pat was the fourth of five children born to Kathleen Patricia and Gerard Dengel during the Great Depression. She grew up in New York City in a large extended Irish family with many cousins, aunts and uncles, and told many stories of her childhood during that difficult time. Always a fighter, with never a trace of self-pity, she excelled in school and began a fashion modeling career in her teens and into the first year of her marriage at age 20.
Pat had her 5 children by the time she was 27, when the family moved to a big old "fixer-upper" house on the beach on Asharoken Avenue. She was the youngest, most beautiful and welcoming mother in the neighborhood. She was entertaining, fun, and a great story- teller in the best Irish tradition-the life of every party.
Pat loved to laugh, adored having people around and never noticed the sandy feet and wet bathing suits or kids jumping on the furniture. As a result, the house was always packed with children-some she didn't know-helping themselves to cookies and milk in the kitchen or a piece of fruit and having the time of their lives. The end of summer was beach plum jelly making time, with every child filling plastic buckets with berries and Pat stirring bubbling pots of fruit and filling jars for the winter.
Pat went back to work in real estate as her children neared college age and became a top producing agent. She served for many years as Trustee for the Village of Asharoken, and as a member of the Asharoken Zoning Board. In addition, Pat served as a long time President of the Saint Charles Hospital Auxiliary, Northport Chapter, hosting numerous fund-raising events in her home over the years. She loved to play bridge and was an accomplished and avid player.
Pat loved every grandchild. In addition to her numerous Northport grandchildren, she thought nothing of hopping into her car and driving to visit her Boston grands, always with the frothiest, most unpractical but delicious dress creations for the girls. One granddaughter waited for her, watching for her car-then called out "It's my Grandma, my Precious!" Generous to a fault, she'd grab her purse, head for the car, point it in the direction of the mall and say, "Let's go stimulate the economy!"
When Pat and Ritt moved down the street to 147 Asharoken, the house came with a pool that became the Grandchild Hub every single summer. Riotous games of the invented game of pool Sock Ball led to huge appetites, which kept Pat hopping serving poundcake, fruit, popsicles, grilled cheese and peanut butter and jellies.
She taught everyone how to knit, rocked the little ones to sleep, and more than anything else, listened. Pat was that wise and rare person who listened, so her phone was constantly ringing, and she was always in demand, and always there for her children and grandchildren.
Selected Grandchildren quotes to their Grandmother:
"You are the main reason this family is so strong."
"The welcoming smile she always has on her face."
"I hope one day I can be a comforting, loving grandma like you are."
"I strive to emulate your classy way of handling situations."
"We ate fudgsicles and watched Dennis the Menace together."
"You would let us sit on your lap after going in the pool, even though we got you all wet as well."
"You'd say - "You're my favorite, don't tell anyone." I always thought that it was funny because I knew you were telling everyone that."
"My favorite times with you were when you would teach me songs."
"Thanks for giving me TLC when I needed it."
"You always take such an interest in all the things I make."
"You told me boys do all their growing in their sleep and I should hit the sack early-I believed you and went to bed early for the next two years."
"I'm a better person for knowing you and your love."