Cover photo for Patricia Jean Cummings's Obituary
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Patricia Jean Cummings

March 17, 1935 — September 28, 2023

Charleston

Patricia Jean Cummings

Patricia Jean Cummings left this world at 8:30 pm, September 28, 2023 at her home with family. She was born March 17, 1935, in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first child of Jean Napier Tybuec and Edward Tybuec. She grew up in the Manoa Valley, eating mango and guava from the family fruit trees, snacking on see moi at the movies, and swimming and playing on Waikiki Beach. Pat attended and graduated from the University Lab School at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 1st through 12th grades. A multi-sport athlete, she also danced the hula, worked at the pineapple factory and aspired to become a nurse. She always said she grew up in paradise and had a fairytale childhood. Mostly, Pat never stopped being that island girl, more comfortable barefoot in a muumuu, preferring the beach to anywhere else and swearing by the healing properties of saltwater and aloe vera.

She met the love of her life at age 15 when she happened to answer a wrong number call to her house. Clair (or Mike, as he went by) was a 19-year-old sailor stationed in Honolulu. They met, dated, fell in love, and married (at age 18) in Honolulu on September 19, 1953. Pat left her beloved island and lived the military family life for the next 14 years, with stops in Virginia, Honolulu, Maryland, California, and finally South Carolina. Pat and Mike also started building their own family on these travels: Ed and Don in Yorktown, Maggie and Tim in Indian Head, Diane and Kelly in Honolulu, and Lisa and Tammy in Charleston.  They decided to put down roots in Charleston when Mike retired from the Navy in 1967. Pat was 33 years old, a mother of eight, and a force of nature. Her tribe would grow by two, when Sandy and Jany were born.  Pat had single-handedly converted to Catholicism as a teen, even before meeting Mike, a lifelong member of the Church. Their faith was the foundation of their whole lives, and they raised their children accordingly. They joined Saint John’s Catholic Church in North Charleston in 1964, shortly after arriving in Charleston. Pat enrolled the children in the parish school, quickly becoming part of the school and church culture. Large families were not unusual in Catholic communities at that time, and the Cummings family fit in nicely.

Pat managed to keep it all going: meals, schoolwork, church, and youth sports. She was a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout den mother, classroom helper, seamstress (making cheerleading uniforms), babysitter for other children, and disciplinarian. She made sure her children knew how to dance the hula, appreciate nature, and understood the importance of sticking together. When her youngest was four, Pat decided to ride along with Mike to his classes at Trident Technical College and explore some interests of her own. The thought of being a nurse still appealed to her, so she took an Emergency Medical Technician class. Charleston County was in the beginning stages of establishing an EMS program, the first of its kind in Charleston. The women in her class were invited to apply for jobs as dispatchers. She did, with some trepidation. In 1974, she still had seven children at home, two in college, and one in the military. She was hired and, like everything else she tackled, she went all in. In the 20 years she worked for CCEMS, she developed and eventually led a communications center that was exceptional and respected in South Carolina. She loved her job and working with her dispatchers, the paramedics, and Mr. Graham. She retired in 1994 when Mike’s health and her brother Larry demanded her full-time presence at home. She was married to Mike for 53 years at the time of his death in 2006.

The list of Pat’s accomplishments and successes are endless and could be catalogued here, but the truth is that she and Mike built a legacy of family that will endure. That village was raised to love, protect, and lift up each other in times of triumph as well as in times of difficulty. The scope and breadth of her family–and those of whom she has influence–is prodigious. She was, simply, “home”: shoyu chicken and sushi cones, wiffleball games in the front yard, 12 Christmas stockings hanging on hooks attached to a foil-covered board, poke and Lomi Lomi salmon, velvet Jesus, haupia, Plumeria trees and night blooming cereus vines, fig and loquat trees, the Layton, Ma’s jellied salad and chicken liver stuffing, rosaries, magnolias, gardenias, azaleas, and camellias, Christmas date ball cookies, saimin, and the smell of Hawaiian ginger.

Pat will be met by Mike, her daughter Maggie, her brother Larry, her sister Thea, her Auntie Annie, her parents, sons-in-law Sam and Terry, and grandchildren, Greg and Katherine.

She is survived by her children: Ed (Fran) Cummings, Don (Dianne) Cummings, Diane Bates, Tim (Vickie) Cummings, Kelly (Danny) Kirk, Lisa (Ted) Blevins, Tammy (Sam) Cox, Sandy (Phillip) Euper, and Jany (Bryan) Pooser. Her grandchildren: Michael (Kristen) Mason, Olivia (Mike) Cummings, Nick (Rose) Cummings, Jill (David) Snelgrove, Philip (Tisha) Cummings, Frank (Brittany) Mason, Lauren (Jeremy) Seben, Shawn (Ashley) Cummings, Sarah (Robbie) Brock, Tradd (Malvika) Cummings, Lindsay (Chris) Gay, Ben Blevins, Katelyn (Dan) Cummings, Tiffany (Mikey) King, Tyler (Jenna) Cummings, Chelsea (Mackie) King, Claire Cox, Kevin Kirk, Meghan Blevins, Patrick (Samantha) Cox, Andrew Kirk, Matt Kirk, Haley Blevins, Ryan Pooser, Trey Pooser, and Phillip Euper, as well as her 28 great grandchildren…The Village.

Visitation will be 8 October, 2023 from 3-5pm at Stuhr’s Greenridge Chapel.  A funeral mass will be held the following day at St. John’s Catholic Church, North Charleston at 11:00a.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. John’s Catholic Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Patricia Jean Cummings, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, October 8, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, October 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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