A Celebration of Life and remembrance will be held for Harold Michael (Mike) Patchen on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at 10 am at the Washington Creek Church of the Brethren, 604 East 550th Road in rural Douglas County. Mike died on July 21, 2021, after a two-year battle with cancer. His family welcomes friends, colleagues and neighbors to celebrate with them. The family suggests casual attire.
Mike was born in Lawrence, Kansas, on July 1, 1947, to Harold Eugene Patchen and Mary Merlene (Ridgway) Patchen. The family lived in Junction City and Ottawa before moving back to Lawrence in 1955. Mike attended Pinckney Elementary School, Central Junior High and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1965. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Steven Patchen, his brother-in-law John Rooney and his brother-in-law George (Buddy) Lawrence.
Mike began his working career at age 12 delivering newspapers in the neighborhood and doing odd jobs for his older neighbors. He worked part time for Ship Winter Chevrolet as a mechanic while in his senior year of high school.
After graduation, he worked a short time at Tempo in their automotive department. In 1966, he began his career as a diesel mechanic for Lawrence Freight Line until the freight line closed in 1993. He then went to work as a diesel mechanic for Penske Truck Leasing that same year. He transitioned to working for Koch Industries when they took over the K-Mart truck leasing from Penske and retired from Koch in 2009.
He joined the Army National Guard in 1965 and served on active duty during the Vietnam War. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Sue Schlink, on April 9, 1967. They lived in Lawrence until he left for active duty in April of 1968. Upon his return, they moved to the country southwest of Lawrence and have lived in that area for over 50 years. His love of rural life grew as the couple ventured into a small farming and cattle ranching operation.
Mike was happiest when he was working on the farm. He enjoyed being on a tractor doing whatever needed to be done, watching the young calves venture the fields, mowing and baling hay, fixing and getting the farm equipment ready to use. He enjoyed helping others and doing things with his family, friends and neighbors.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra, his daughter Michelle Patchen Wasson (David), his son John Patchen, and his grandchildren Kathryn Anne Freidl, Kaylah Marie Patchen, Roman Patchen as well as his sister Mary Rooney, his sister-in-law Betty Grems, his sister-in-law Kay Barngrover (Rick), his sister-in-law Leda Lawrence, as well as 13 nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held Monday from 5-7 pm at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association, the American Cancer Society, or the Washington Creek Church, in care of the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P. O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.