Pat FitzSimmons Thorlakson

Pat FitzSimmons Thorlakson, age 92, longtime resident of Bellevue, Washington, lately of Mercer Island, passed away appropriately on Mother’s Day, surrounded by us, her children.

This day known for flowers will always be a special day of celebration for our family as Mom is now gardening with our dad, Neil F. Thorlakson, in heaven (Mom’s garden was her pride and joy).  Mom loved the outdoors, wildflowers, birds, cross-country skiing (out of their home in Winthrop), hiking, and golf (Overlake Golf & Country Club). Born Aug.  2, 1925, in San Francisco, California, she was an alumnus of the UW and a loyal Husky fan.

Mom spent many years working to advance athletic opportunities for women, but she always considered being a wife and mother her full-time career.

She was a treasure of a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother — always exuding a positive attitude. Every morning when she woke up still alive, Mom would say, “Since I’m still here, I’d better get up!” She saw value in everyone she met, no matter their “label,” or status in life. Once writing to a grandson she said, “Young people must realize that all that really matters in the world today is people. The people who matter the most are your own family. Stay close to them, forgive them when they seem to make your life hard, know that they are trying to do what is best for you, and realize that when you are grown, many of the things your parents did that irritated you will make more sense.”

Mom is survived by her children Rob (Debbie), Lynn Kuske (Brian), Beth Campbell (Scott), and Rich (Sujoy); eight grandchildren she absolutely adored, Jennifer (Kuske) Stoltzfus and Brad Kuske, Chris and Steve Campbell, Ryan and Dustin Thorlakson, Neil James and Tannis (Thorlakson) Sullivan; six great-grandchildren; and her brother Dick FitzSimmons (June).

She is predeceased by our dad, and a brother, Laurie FitzSimmons. Our family plans a private celebration of Mom’s life at our “40 Acre Wood:” Jim Creek.

To honor Mom, please smile at everyone you see, as she did! Memorial donations may be made to the Methow Conservancy at