For the first half of her life, a softball field, a basketball or tennis court, or a swimming pool is where you would have found Pat. Recently, reading a good book in a campground, her cabin in Colorado, or on a new adventure with Ward were her preferred activities. Patricia Lou Nippert was a fun-loving, ornery, adventuresome spirit who valued family, faith, and service to the community.
Pat was born in Wichita, Kansas September 26, 1951 to Gail and Marge Stauffer. Despite her mother’s attempts at ribbons and curls, Pat preferred a pony-tail and a ball glove. She spent each summer morning at the neighborhood swimming pool, and most summer evenings on a ball field. She carried her love of sports with her to McPherson College, where she majored in elementary education. She coached and pitched for the softball team, played tennis, and basketball. On the field, she was a standout pitcher, taking one of her traveling teams on to win the state championship, and earning the title of the state #1 pitcher.
Pat was a reading specialist who taught students from kindergarten to college age. She inspired a love of reading in hundreds of students, despite varying abilities. She made reading fun and dubbed her alter-ego ‘Dr. Strangemind’. Friday night Prime Time, an all-night read-a-thon for 5th graders, was eagerly anticipated by so many kids. She loved learning and eventually left the classroom to become a state-wide educational consultant conveying the latest theory on brain development, and best practices for reading education. She retired from teaching after developing the first K-6 elementary education program at Central Christian College of Kansas. In addition to her career as an educator, she used her gift of caring for others as an EMT-I for McPherson EMS for over 30 years. She loved driving the ambulance fast and providing compassionate care in an emergency.
Pat had a heart for service. Some of her volunteer activities included being a school board member for the USD 418, serving with the Red Cross, an archivist at the McPherson Museum, being a Hearing and Vision specialist for NCRA, volunteering at the McPherson Save & Share, and the librarian for the First Christian Church.
Pat married the love of her life, Ward Nippert in 1971 at the age of 20. She instilled her love of sports in her two kids, Jesse and Heather, supporting them as a coach and a spectator through their lives. Pat was a loving grandmother, with 6 amazing grandkids. She attended as many of their extracurricular activities as possible, and every referee knew her opinion about questionable calls! She LOVED playing board games and card games and considered it her special talent to get her grandkids to play games with her. Finally, Pat loved dogs. From her childhood dog Tippy, to more recent companions Midge and Thor, Pat made sure her dogs were happy and always had a spot on the couch next to her.
Her retirement life focused on travel with Ward, including travels across North America, throughout Europe, southern Africa, and Australia / New Zealand. When asked what her favorite trip was, she said ‘Well, I really liked them all!’ As an active member of the Kansas Good Sam’s club, Ward and Pat spent many weekends at campgrounds near and far in their RV making friends and enjoying various outdoor games.
Pat loved the Lord and was a humble servant. She preferred serving God in the background, helping with the tasks that many others would shy away from. In McPherson, she served in both the Free Methodist Church and the 1st Christian Church.
Pat passed away at her home on September 19, 2023. Survivors include: her husband of 51 years, Ward Nippert of Manhattan, KS; her dog, Thor; son, Jesse (Anna) Nippert of St. George, KS; daughter, Heather (Daniel) Dannahower of Fort Collins, CO; six grandchildren, Kalea Nippert, Miah Dannahower, Kyra Nippert, William Dannahower, Lucia Nippert, and Livia Nippert; a brother, James Stauffer of Elkhorn, NE.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A time of remembrance (come & go) will take place from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM with a time of sharing occurring at 4:00 PM on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at Stockham Family Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, October 2, at the First Christian Church, McPherson, with Pastor Lynn Scott officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Nature Conservancy of Kansas, the library fund of the First Christian Church, or Interim Hospice of Manhattan in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.