On October 22, 2019 Patti Helene (Bowdre) VanAsdalan, 66, beloved wife of Philip Craig VanAsdalan, devoted mother of Lindsay Catherine VanAsdalan, dear sister of Amy (Bowdre) Brant, daughter of Paul H. Bowdre, Jr., PHD and Mildred F. (Smith) Bowdre passed from this life to be with our Lord.
Patti was born on May 31, 1953 in Afrigola, Italy, near Naples, where her father was stationed as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. She and her family lived in Gainesville, Florida for a few years while he was obtaining his PHD before moving to Carrollton, Georgia, and later Atlanta, where she graduated from North Fulton High School in 1971.
She graduated cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Business Education in 1975. In her first year of college in 1971 she met her beloved husband, Phil at “The Garden Home,” a close group of friends associated with the school’s Catholic center, and they became friends. They both went their separate ways after college but kept close with Lenny at “The Garden Home”. Patti went into the U.S. Air Force in Texas and Phil into graduate school, in Virginia. It wasn’t until years later in 1978, both traveling back to Georgia for a “Garden Home” reunion party, that they reunited and began their relationship.
They married six months later in Atlanta on December 29, 1978.
Patti had been serving in the Air Force since 1975, as a histopathology specialist at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Phil had to finish one more semester of graduate school in Virginia, before leaving school to join Patti in Texas, where she completed her service in 1979, attaining the rank of sergeant.
They moved to Fairfax, Virginia in 1981 for Phil’s job. Over the next nine years, Patti taught business education; worked as a legal secretary, a data processor, and church secretary until Lindsay was born May 4, 1990.
Always the most devoted to her family, she became a full-time mom until Lindsay went to school – and later went back to work in sales. The family moved to Catonsville, Maryland in 1994, where they put down roots and lived throughout the rest of Patti’s life.
Patti was always a vibrant, beautiful, fun-loving, deeply caring and “kooky” person, and her zest for life was contagious. For every song she loved, she’d turn it up for all to enjoy, and could often be found practicing for her singing debut. A lover of the arts, she encouraged her daughter in acting, singing, dancing and writing – and was an accomplished writer herself. One of her biggest joys was writing fan fiction about her favorite soap “One Life to Live”, for which she wrote 110 captivating serial chapters over a period of 5 years that had a large following and eventually became her novel, “Imposter”. She dabbled in many other talents throughout her life, including flute, piano and track in high school; nine years of ballet; and jazz dance classes that she took well into her 30s. She loved dancing and once danced for a church event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
She also loved animals, and they loved her. She was a pet magnet. Throughout her entire life, she owned many pets, including cats, dogs and birds. Every one of them were special to her and they knew it. They felt it.
Patti loved spending time with her family, especially in annual trips to the beach, and to Georgia for Christmas. She remained close with her sister, Amy Bowdre Brandt and her husband Al; her father, and Phil’s mom, Lois Keller and Phil’s stepfather, Art.
A true friend and daughter-in-law, she helped care for Lois when she got cancer in 2010. Over the next 5 to 6 years she made multiple trips every year to take care of Phil’s mom’s house and was able to use that time to visit her father. She was able to see him celebrate his 90th birthday before he passed in 2016. Around that time, Patti had been experiencing some memory problems, which eventually led to a series of mini strokes that put her in the hospital.
Doctors later found that she had been suffering from a rare form of cancer called intravascular lymphoma, which attacked her body and nerves, leaving her unable to walk. A dedicated team at Johns Hopkins diagnosed the cancer, which became a case study. Patti went into remission, but her vulnerable state later led to physical and mental decline.
She spent the remainder of her days with her loving husband, who was a full-time caregiver to Patti for the last three to four years.
Her family will always remember her as confident, amiable, and strong-willed – often challenging them and keeping them on their toes – but always loving them to the fullest. Good times and difficult times were always shared in love. A wise person once said, “It’s not what happens to you in life. It’s how you react to what happens to you. You have the choice.” Patti chose God, and she chose love.
Patti is survived by her husband Philip C. VanAsdalan, her daughter Lindsay C. VanAsdalan, her sister Amy (Bowdre) Brant and her husband Alan Brant, and her mother Mildred F. (Smith) Bowdre. She was preceded in death by her father Paul H. Bowdre.
Family and friends may call at the Candle Light Funeral Home by Craig Witzke for a viewing from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, October 30, and a funeral service at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 31. Patti will then be taken to the chapel at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery Garrison Forrest, in Owings Mills, Maryland, where a brief military honors ceremony will be held along with the folding and presentation of the flag to the family. The burial is not open to the public.
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