Patricia L. Bushey Salmela
1934 - 2012
Patricia Bushey Salmela (78), WHS P.E. teacher 1955-58
Patricia L "Pat" (Bushey) Salmela, 78, passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, MN as a result of suffering a stroke on Sunday, March 25, 2012.
Pat was born in Duluth, Minnesota on March 4, 1934 to Chauncey and Hanna (Hansen) Bushey. The family moved to Rochester, MN when Pat was in the 7th grade. Pat graduated from Rochester Senior High School in 1952.
Pat attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and graduated in 1956 with a degree in physical education and a minor in history. Her first teaching job was in Waseca, MN, where she taught physical education and coached cheerleading. Pat later joined the teaching staff at Albert Lea, MN where she met fellow teacher and future husband, Mel.
Pat married Melvin R. Salmela on June 6, 1959 in Rochester, MN. The couple lived in various communities in Iowa and southern Minnesota where they worked and raised their family. While the children were young, Pat was home as "Mom" and was involved in Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, numerous church and school activities, teaching piano lessons and Vacation Bible School. She was also very involved as a church organist/pianist throughout her adult life.
As the children entered high school, Pat returned to teaching. She taught in the Wabasso School District, Wabasso, MN from 1974 -- 1994. During that time she taught physical education, American History, and coached both girls' volleyball and basketball teams. Pat often commented that her favorite student population to teach was the Junior High age group. Pat retired from teaching in 1994.
At the time of her death, Pat was living in Duluth, MN where she resided since 2001. She was a member of First Lutheran Church and was active in church activities including mailing the church newsletter, The Builder, attending Leah Circle, and playing in the Jubilation Ringers Bell Choir. Pat participated in numerous community activities while in Duluth, and previously served on the Board of Directors for both Aftenro and the Miller Creek Condo Association. She was a devoted cow-bell ringing fan for the UMD women's hockey program and a season ticket holder for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO). Pat was very active and full of life. Aside from music and sports, she loved reading and would take a book with her wherever she went. She also loved playing games, traveling, taking day trips, swimming, and spending time with her family and friends. She was a social person who loved drop-in company. The irony is that she was rarely home to enjoy it. She loved her family and friends deeply and will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents Chauncey and Hanna Bushey and husband, Melvin R. Salmela.
Pat is survived by her sister, Mary (Myron) Windsheimer, Red Bluff, CA; children Lynn, Duluth, MN; Larry, Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Lori (Mark) Tuominen, Shutesbury, MA (currently on sabbatical in Grenoble, France); grandchildren Ariane (Ben) Laxo, Dan (Cara) Tuominen, Hannah (Seth) Holm, and Abby; great granddaughter, Ailie (Dan and Cara) Tuominen, who was born on Pat's birthday in 2011; furry friend Sadie, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and many wonderful friends.
Pat's family extends a heartfelt thank you to the Essentia Health staff in the Neuro-Trauma Intensive Care Unit and Solvay Hospice House. They provided exceptional care during Pat's hospitalization.
Visitation will be from 5-8 pm Thursday, April 12 at First Lutheran Church, 1100 E. Superior St. and will continue at the church on Friday, April 13 from 10:00 am until the 11:00 am Funeral Service. Burial will take place at Cedar Valley cemetery in Floodwood. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the CaringBridge website; www.caringbridge/visit/patsalmela or to the Essentia Health Foundation, 400 E. 3rd St., Duluth, MN 55805,
designating either Neuro-Trauma Intensive Care Unit or Solvay Hospice House. Please leave a memory of Pat or words of support for the family at www.bellbrothersjarvidowd.com.