Patrick Louis “Pat” Menke
Surrounded by friends and family, longtime Carbondale area resident Pat Menke passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, May 23, 2016 following a 40-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 68.
Born October 10, 1947 in Wray, Colorado, his family moved to Greeley, Colorado when Pat was a child.
A natural athlete, his passion was the sport of wrestling. He competed on the Greeley High wrestling team. After high school, he competed collegiately for the hall of fame NCAA wrestling team at Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado). Following his graduation from UNC in 1969, he taught classes and coached wrestlers at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs. Now married and with a baby on the way, he heard that underground miners in Colorado made a lot of money and he moved to Leadville in the early 1970’s to work as a hard rock miner in the Climax molybdenum mines.
The family moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1972 where he took a job as a miner for what was then called the Mid-Continent Coal & Coke Company at the Coal Basin Mines above Redstone where he worked until 1982. It was during that time that he and his wife, Kathleen, had two sons and built their log home in Satank, near Carbondale.
In 1975, Pat was diagnosed with MS and spent the next 40 years stubbornly battling that pernicious affliction.
He was a particularly good story teller and talented whittler. He like pretty women, dogs and dirty jokes, of which he knew many. He loved his family and the Crystal River Valley.
And he was very brave.
He is survived by his sons Luke and Jake Menke; his daughter-in-law Rachel Menke; and grandchildren Kaleesi, Skyler and Murphy. He is also survived by brothers and sisters Mike Menke, Bill Menke, Carolyn Layne and Barb Vergarra; and his ex-wife Kathleen Menke.
He was preceded in death by his parents Louis E. and Joan Menke and his sister Jan Senac.
His ashes will be scattered at his favorite places in the Valley.
There will be a celebration and remembrance gathering on June 25 at the Menke home in Satank beginning at 11 am.
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