Patricia Johnston Larchuk, 90, of State College, passed away on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at Wynwood House. Born in Clearfield, PA on June 3, 1929 to Dorothy and Walter Johnston, Pat was one of three siblings, including two brothers Walter Johnston and William Johnston. Pat was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-nine years, Daniel Larchuk, who passed away in 2010. A 1947 graduate of Clearfield High School, Pat received a B.A degree from Penn State University in 1951. Pat’s talent as a vocalist included singing the lead in a local Jazz Band and attending the Chautauqua Institute as a college student. Pat received her Master’s Degree in Education from Penn State. Her career as a beloved Kindergarten Teacher at Park Forest Elementary School spanned from 1967 to 1986.. A sixty-five year member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in State College, Pat put her faith to work to help others. She helped to found The St. Paul’s Shoe Bank, a non-profit organization that opens weekly to provide free shoes to children in need, now in its twenty-seventh year. She also started The Good Samaritan Fund at St. Paul’s to provide support for community members’ daily struggles. Pat sang in The Senior Choir, taught Sunday School, led Bible Study and volunteered her time in countless other ways. In “retirement” Pat taught Preschool at the Park Forest Day Nursery and was a regular children’s story-teller at The Schlow Memorial Library. In 1985 she launched a start-up called Peepers, an educational curriculum for early childhood based around activity books she created for early writers and readers. For many years, she volunteered weekly at the St. Paul’s Shoe Bank, The Centre Community Hospital and The Centre Volunteers in Medicine. She found joy in painting, paper tooling, writing, playing piano, singing, reading and sharing books, and playing bridge.
Pat is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Tori Larchuk Von Leer and Bill Von Leer of State College; her son and daughter-in-law Terry and Amy Larchuk of Media, PA; two grandchildren, Megan Von Leer Dhar and Evan Von Leer; and three great grandchildren, Maddie and Ellie Dhar, and Fox Von Leer.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 20 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church followed by a luncheon at the Church in celebration of her faith and love for the community. The family welcomes visitors to Koch Funeral Home on Friday, July 19th for Visitation from 5-8 pm.
Pat’s family would like to acknowledge the amazing staff at The Wynwood House, Boalsburg for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Shoe Bank or the St. Paul’s Good Samaritan Fund, ℅ St. Paul’s United Methodist Church 250 E. College Avenue, State College, PA 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.