Patricia Mack Churchman died on February 8, 2024 at the age of 91 in Rockingham Co., following declining health as a result of pancreatic cancer. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles Johnston Churchman, Jr, originally of Staunton, VA, but who died in Bridgewater, by her son, Charles J. Churchman, III, of Bridgewater, and by her brother, Robert Sumner-Mack (Nan) of Hawaii.
She was the daughter of Henry W. and Margaret Mack. Mrs. Churchman was born in Somerville, NJ. She was taken to China as an infant to visit her grandparents, Ann and Craig Patterson. Anne was a medical missionary and Craig, an evangelist. They were in China under the Southern Presbyterian Church.
After a year of teaching in China, her father decided to accept a position as Dean of the General Assembly's Training School in Richmond, VA. After being there for twelve years, Dr. Mack accepted a position as Dean of Biblical Seminary in New York City. The family moved to Babylon, L.I., NY, where Patricia completed high school. As soon as she graduated, she, her brother, Robert, and mother followed her father to the Philippines, where he has accepted a position as Professor of Bible and where she spent the first two years of college at Silliman University, traveling back to the US by freighter, and then by train, to the College of Wooster in Ohio, and the Davidson College in North Carolina.
Following graduation from Wooster, she married Charles. She is survived by three of her four children. Her oldest, Margaret Elizabeth (Beth)Trissel, and husband Dennis, have three children, including a son, Cory (Charity), sons Ian and Owen, and a daughter Emma; Elise and wife Katelyn, daughter Alison (Diron), and their sons Colin and Charles, and daughter Chloe. Beth lives near Harrisonburg, VA. John, his wife Jennifer and their daughter, Gabrielle, live in Essex, VT. John's son Travis and significant other Emily also live in VT. His daughter Kailie lives with her husband, Noah, and daughter, Juno, in NH. Kailie and Travis are the daughter and son of John's first wife, Sharon. Catherine Churchman Carrier married Andy in 2009, gaining a daughter, Sydney Carrier (Josh Kenney). They have one daughter, Eleanor. Catherine's first marriage produced three daughters, Elizabeth, Sara, and Cailin. Elizabeth married Tanner Shifflett and they have one son, Kai.
Charles J Churchman, III had a near fatal head injury in a skiing accident when he was 18. He lived with Pat and Charles for his full adult life, helping Pat in their yard and gardens, which they enjoyed doing together, until he passed away in 2017.
During her working life, Mrs. Churchman served seven years as Director of Publicity and Publications at Bridgewater College. She and her husband spent three years teaching English in Taiwan and one year teaching English and supervising students in Dalian, China, in 1986-87. She also was a part of the beginning of Rosetta Stone, working with photographs. In addition, she spent one evening a week for seven years visiting Camp 8 of the Virginia Penal System along with other members of the small group, called a house church, at her church. From that experience, the group founded a Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter in Harrisonburg. She has also been involved with non-profit organizations to promote peace and justice and has been a voice for environmental protection.
Patricia has been a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church since 1967 where she has served on the Session, the Pastoral Search Committee, as a church school teacher and in various other positions where she touched the lives of many.
Memorial services are to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church at 725 S High St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 to support the purchase of solar panels and/or other earth friendly projects.