Beloved and Dedicated Wife, Mother and Grandmother.
Patricia Van Craeynest (nee Meyer) of Oakland, NJ, passed away peacefully on March 14, 2023. She was 86 years old. Pat enjoyed a long, happy life as a loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend.
Pat was born in Passaic, NJ to Neil and Eva Meyer. She lived in Paterson as a young girl before moving to Ramsey, NJ. She loved growing up in Ramsey with her sisters Evelyn and Margaret and was a proud graduate of Ramsey High School back when it was the high school for a number of surrounding Bergen County towns. Pat made friends for life with some of her classmates from Ramsey, especially her best friend Evelyn.
Following high school, Pat earned her Associates degree from Fairleigh Dickinson and worked as a medical technologist for several years.
Pat met Doug, a city boy from Hudson County, during college. They married in 1957 and had two children, Susan and Steven. Their first house was in New Milford followed by the home they shared in Oakland for 53 years.
Throughout her life Pat loved children and animals. Her favorite job growing up was babysitting and she loved being a mom. Once she had grandchildren, she got to enjoy that all over again; always babysitting Brian and Erin at the drop of a hat and with joy. Pat enjoyed many pet cats through the years and took in a few strays. She loved watching the wild birds and attracted them to her yard with multiple birdfeeders for over 50 years. Feeding the birds was a daily ritual and the binoculars were always by the window.
Pat became quite an avid sports fan in her later years. She closely followed the NY Mets and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football and basketball teams. She could talk strategy and coaching and all the particulars on the teams she followed. Like a true fan, she experienced the joy of winning and the heartbreak of losing for her teams.
Pat was very family oriented and hosted many wonderful, delicious dinners even though she did not really like to cook. She enjoyed the gatherings with her sisters, parents, children and grandchildren over great food throughout the years. She loved to reminisce about the old days and long-lost relatives, so we learned a lot about family history. Pat always looked forward to vacationing with family on the annual multigenerational beach vacations in Delaware or South Carolina. She dedicated her time and energy to helping her parents and sisters in their later years. She was always there to lend a hand to her children and grandchildren.
Through the years Pat volunteered her time for the American Cancer Society and Meals on Wheels. She fondly remembered many of her Meals customers and their gratitude for her service and visit.
Pat and Doug took many trips throughout the USA and enjoyed seeing the country. She was always on the hunt to see a bald eagle in the wild. She had a backyard tomato garden for many years and grew delicious tomatoes that we miss to this day.
Pat is survived by her husband Doug, daughter Susan Hughes and her husband Jeff, son Steven, two grandchildren Brian Hughes and Erin Hughes, and her niece Cindy Gisonno.
Visiting will be on Friday, March 17, 2023 from 3-5 & 7-9pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave Wyckoff, NJ. A funeral mass will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Oakland, NJ on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 10:00am. ALL ARE TO MEET AT CHURCH ON SATURDAY. Burial to follow at Christ the King Cemetery, Franklin Lakes, NJ.
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