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Patricia Avis Okelberry

Mar. 17, 1927 - Feb. 24, 2020

Date of Service: Mar. 2, 2020

OAKLEY/BURLEY – Patricia A Okelberry, almost 93, of Oakley, passed away Monday, February 24, 2020, in the home of her daughter, Susie Bailey, at 2:50 in the afternoon.

Patricia (Pat) was born at 64 Sutherland Square Walworth, South East London, England on March 17, 1927. She received her name of Patricia by being born on Saint Patrick’s day. She was the last born of eight children to her mother, Susannah Rosina Doughty, and her father, Henry Richards (alias, Watford, when he joined the Navy under-age and took on his mother’s maiden name). Her sister, Molly, died when she was eight years old from Diphtheria. Pat was preceded in death by all of her siblings (six sisters and one brother), Winnie – Winifred Dorothy Emily; Cissie – Doris Florence Alice; Margie – Margaret Violet; Rosie – Rosina; Harry – Henry Edward Thomas; Joan Amelia; and (Molly).

She started school when she was five years old at St Albans school; later she attended school at St Pauls, then in 1939, World War II started, she was evacuated out of London to Devonshire with all the school kids. They went by train to Exeter, a city in Devonshire in the southwestern part of England, where she was housed in the home of a Lady Ackworth. Within the year they were allowed to return to London. She spent most of her time on roller skates, reading and doing puzzles.

Pat went through many frightening times due to the bombing raids upon London and had to put out many fires from incendiary bombs that were used to light up the area for the bombing raids because there was a gas plant near their house.

The war ended in May of 1945, and in August of 1945, Pat met a very shy GI named Verl Smith Okelberry who had fought in the war for four years and then had been stationed in London with the Military Police. Three months later they were married on November 17, 1945, in a church in London, England. Three weeks later, Verl was transferred to France where he contracted pneumonia and was shipped back to America on a hospital ship. Pat started her journey to America as a war bride on April 23, 1946; she joined with Verl in Pocatello and met her new family on May 13, 1946.

Their marriage was solemnized in the Idaho Falls Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Nov 17, 1954. Pat and Verl farmed in Oakley, Idaho, and started their family. They had four children, Richard Henry Okelberry of Selah, Washington, Susannah Rosina Bailey and Verl Chris Okelberry, both of Burley Idaho, and Eileen Tyler of Heyburn, Idaho.

Pat is survived by her four children; 12 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Betty Okelberry of Ogden, Utah; and her brother and sister-in-law, David and Rhea Okelberry of Bountiful, Utah.

She was preceded in death by her husband, both parents, six sisters, and one brother.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 2, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Unity 2nd Ward, located at 275 S. 250 E., of Burley, with Bishop Walter Graham officiating. Burial will be in Marion Cemetery.

Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and at the church on Monday, from 10 until 10:45 a.m.

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