Patricia Wessels

Sept. 4, 1939–Aug. 5, 2018

This site is dedicated to remembering former Viterbo professor of nursing, Pat Wessels.

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Patricia Ann (Eischeid) Wessels, 78, of La Crescent, Minn., formerly of Onalaska, Wisc., passed away Sunday, August 5, 2018, surrounded by her family.

She was born September 4, 1939 in Orange City, Iowa, to Everett “Eb” and Margaret Jean (Dunlop) Eischeid. She was raised in Independence, Iowa and was a 1957 graduate of Fayette High School. Following graduation, she attended St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then completed her Nursing Degree at Upper Iowa University in Fayette. She married and later divorced, James W. Wessels. Together they had three children Jeff, Elizabeth and Eric.

Patricia worked as a nurse in Iowa for a several years before moving to Racine, Wisc. where she became a professor at St Luke’s School of Nursing. During this time, she also attended Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc. earning her Master’s Degree in Nursing. In 1977, she and her family moved to Onalaska, Wisc. Pat worked at Western Wisconsin Technical College for a year before joining the Viterbo University staff as a professor of nursing. She also served as the Assistant Dean and Interim Dean of Viterbo’s School of Nursing. While, Pat’s pathophysiology class was notoriously rigorous, her support and encouragement never ended. She enjoyed the classroom environment but was happiest and most fulfilled teaching students in the hospital. Pat’s students appreciated her knowledge of the field, her high standards, and her genuine interest in their development as nurses and human beings. She ensured graduates were competent and compassionate professionals.

To Pat nursing was not a job, but a life-long passion. She truly treasured her years at Viterbo. After 35 years as a nurse educator, Pat retired, enjoying time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading and her dog, Patches.

Survivors include her Son, Jeff (Dawn) Wessels; her, daughter, Elizabeth (Steven) Golden; son, Eric Wessels; four grandchildren, Gus (Hannah) Wessels, Travis Wessels, Noah Golden and Olivia Golden; three great-grandchildren, Lylah, Henry, and Maybel Wessels; one brother, Michael (Joy) Eischeid; one sister, Margaret (Robert) Reinert; four nieces, Jennifer Williams, Julie (David) Creery, Lynn (Brian) Waldera, Kate (Anthony) Pithan; one nephew Scott (Catherine) Reinert; her treasured students; and her esteemed colleagues from Viterbo University both past and present. Patricia was preceded in death by her parents, Eb and Jean Eischeid; many family members, cherished friends and her faithful companion, her dog, Patches.

The family would like to send a special thank you to her neighbors and former colleagues who visited her so often. To Bonnie Nesbitt, Nancy Danou, and Pat Zander, we will be eternally grateful. The family would also like to acknowledge Jordan Wegner of Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory. We have known Jordy since she was a dream in her Mom’s heart. Our Mothers were friends for more than 35 years and are now together again. Thank you for your compassion and guiding us through this very difficult time. We love you.

A celebration of life memorial service will be at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at the Presbyterian Church of West Salem, 625 W. Franklin St., (right behind Hansen's IGA). Rev. Stephanie M. Steiner will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and will be donated to the Wendy M. (Wegner) Storandt Nursing Scholarship, a memorial scholarship for Viterbo nursing students.

Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Woodruff Chapel, La Crosse, Wisc., is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to