Patricia (Hanifin) Nelen

May 13, 1933 ~ May 2, 2020 (age 86)


Patricia (Pat) Hanifin Nelen passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 2nd 2020, in the company of her family due to complications of Covid-19. Born on a beautiful spring day in Utica, NY, in 1933, Pat was raised in Springfield, MA by her parents Alma Gillis and Lewis Hanifin. She attended grammar school at Holy Name and then Cathedral High School where she excelled in academics and student government. The Elms was her choice for college. In 1956, her marriage to Francis D. Nelen of Springfield took place in Fort Plain, NY. Their union spanned 55 years. The couple lived in Boston, where Frank attended Tufts Dental School and Pat worked in the French Shop at Filenes. They started their family in 1958, when Mary was born. Pat leaves Mary Nelen and Daniel Farrell of Old Chatham, NY, Monica Strzempko and husband Stan of Westfield, Chris Nelen of Boston, Mora and husband Richard Butcher of Hamden and Sean Nelen and wife Stephanie (Pugliese) of Cooperstown, NY. Pat was a devoted and loving grandmother to 11 grandchildren including Alexandra, Joseph and Anna Strzempko, Christina Metcalfe and husband Robert, Kyle Nelen, Quinn, Seamus and Clark Butcher, as well as Rory, Miles and Lanie Nelen. Her two great grand children are Frankie and Reid Metcalfe. Pat’s sisters are Dolly Ehle and family of Scotia, NY and Ursula Hage and family of Cooperstown, NY. In addition the Denault family was counted as her own. She remained close with sister-in-law Dawn Hanifin and is pre-deceased by her husband Frank, 1933-2012, her younger brother Lewis, and daughter-in-law Trish Nelen. Before settling down in South Hadley, to raise their five children, the couple lived in Boston, Bermuda and Niagara Falls. Pat was a Renaissance woman. As her children got older, Pat found her passion in education at South Hadley High School where she headed up the Distributive Education Department (DE) where many students were indoctrinated into the world of retail in the classroom and at the DE School Store. She went on to get a Masters Degree in Counseling at UMass and developed the Women in Transition Program at Holyoke Community College. Developing relationships with students was her secret to helping them customize plans for their futures. Her students span generations. In her later years after her husband’s death, Pat moved to Providence Place in Holyoke and enjoyed several years of community. She joined the Living Legacy Society at The Elms, a program designed to support future generations. The commitment came easily to Pat, who was able to attend the Chicopee-based Catholic college due to a stranger's random act of generosity. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The College of Our Lady of the Elms and Ascend Hospice. Also, please take a moment to recognize our first responders during this pandemic. Details of a Memorial Service in her honor will be announced in the near future. By mail send to: Office of Institutional Advancement Elms College 291 Springfield Street Chicopee, MA 01007 Please make checks payable to: Elms College. In the "memo" write "In memory of Patricia Nelen" Make a gift Online: Here is the link: check the box for "Tribute Gift" and fill in the information for "in memory of", etc.

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