Patricia Irene Neuenschwander was born on January 12, 1945 in Jeffersonville, IN to Alfred and Helen Neuenschwander. She entered into rest on November 22, 2020 at the Truman Lake Manor in Lowry City, MO.
She spent her entire life in the local Deepwater and Lowry City community. She graduated from Lowry City High School in 1962, and was married to Harold Hillegas in 1963. To this union was born her only child, Patricia “Leann” Hillegas Starne Rice.
Pat loved people, travel, laughter, and country music. She was always very community and volunteer minded and was the first one to speak up with ideas of how to get good things accomplished. Her leadership in community involvement was vast including Alpha Beta Nu
Sorority, Lowry City Community Betterment, Lowry City Optimist Club, 4-H leader, Missouri Farm Bureau Woman’s Program leader, Republican Party worker, served as Lowry City Council Woman for 8 years, as Lowry City Mayor Pro-tem for 4 years, on the board of directors and as bookkeeper of Castle Court Complex, and was active in her local church in attendance and as VBS and Sunday school teacher.
She began her career path at Toalson’s Osceola Insurance Agency as secretary/office manager in 1963 and moved on to West Central MO Rural Development Corp. where she worked in office management until 1973. From 1972 to 1990 she was co-owner with her second husband, Shandy Stewart, Jr. in Stewart Enterprises, Lakeland Livestock, Inc., and Stewart Trucking as well as helped manage a thriving land and cattle operation. After Shandy’s passing, she worked at St. Clair County Farm Bureau from 1987 to 1989 before serving as St. Clair County Collector of Revenue until 1991. From 1992 to 2004 she thrived at Dist. III Area Agency on Aging supervising Senior Centers across 4 counties as Senior Services Director, Program Coordinator, and Care Manager. Her accomplishments and advocacy for the senior community in west central Missouri was one of her biggest achievements. Pat spent the last of her working days at Walmart in the lawn and garden department until her health would no longer allow her to work.
Pat’s greatest joy was family. She delighted in spending time with her brothers, sisters,
cousins, and most of all her daughter Leann and grandson Nickolas.
She was preceded in death by her father, Alfred Arthur Neuenschwander; mother, Helen Jenkins Neuenschwander; husband, Shandy Stewart, Jr.; sister, Joan Neuenschwander Simmons; brother-in law, Harry Fulwider, and son-in-law, John Starne.
Pat is survived by her daughter, Leann and son-in law, Bobby Rice of Azle, TX; one grandson, Nickolas Starne and wife Louisa of Lemoore, CA; sister, Ruth Fulwider of Lowry City, Missouri; brothers, Arthur Lee Neuenschwander and wife Judy of Deepwater, Missouri, John Neuenschwander and wife Peg of Lowry City, Missouri along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who will miss her very much.