Patricia J. “Pati” Salmi, age 71, of Eben Junction, died Monday, May 17, 2021 at Windy Ridge in Eben Junction under the loving care of her family. She was born in Beloit, Wisconsin on June 28, 1949 to the late William and Lucille (Weare) DesRoches. Pati grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico until she was a teenager and her family moved to Woodland Hills, California. She graduated from Canoga Park High School in 1967 and then earned her bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from Northridge University. Pati joined both the Peace Corps serving in Alaska and AmeriCorps VISTA (volunteers in service to America) providing services to communities across the U.S. AmeriCorps brought Pati to the U.P. where she and her friends lived off the grid having to snowshoe into their cabin in the woods. She met Loren Salmi in Eben and they were married on December 31, 1971 and together they raised their daughter Mandi. Pati worked for many years at Range Telecommunications in Marquette.
Pati had green thumb and loved to spend time in her garden. She earned her advanced master gardener status through the Michigan State University Extension, and her love and care showed in her veggies, herbs, beautiful flowers. Pati had an eye for art and was talented in multiple mediums. She was an avid quilter, ran her own kiln for pottery, woodworking, painted in her art studio “Studio P”, and created many beautiful glass creations through her “Joyful Glassworks”. Pati’s creativity followed her into the kitchen as well. She loved to entertain family and friends at their camp and shared her talents catering for parties and weddings. She loved to bake cakes for these parties and creating delicious bake goods for neighborhood kids. Pati always knew the right wine to pair with cheese and crackers and searched out the perfect folded chip, and her home-grown grapes made for delicious jelly and wine.
Pati was a free spirit and had great sense of humor. Mandi gave her the nickname “Vern” from the saying “You know what I mean, Vern?” She was famous for stuffing cards with glitter and confetti to surprise you when you opened your gifts. Pati loved to drive fast and let the wind blow through her hair in her convertible, walking barefoot in the grass, sitting cross legged everywhere she went, and would finish a long heartfelt conversation with “and all that jazz.”
Pati had many loves and endeavors throughout her life, and you could see and feel her passion in all that she did. And although there were ups and downs, Pati was the model of how to go through life with grace.
She is survived by her husband – Loren Salmi of Eben Junction, daughter and son-in-law – Mandi and Duane Cox of Eben; grandchildren – Chloe (Dakota) and Maggie; great-grandkids – Sophia and Ryker; sister – Jean (John) Byrd, sister and brothers-in-law – Candace (Wayne) Ingalls and Daren Salmi; nephews – Durwin (Annalee) Burdett and Kole Salmi, and pets - Millie and Kissa. Pati was preceded in death by her parents Bill and Lucille DesRoches.
Visitation will be on Friday, May 21, 2021 at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. 25 Person limits are still in effect for the visiting time at the funeral home as directed by the MDHHS. To help with compliance and if able, if your last name begins with A-H please come between 11:00 and 12:00. If your last name begins with I-O, please attend between 12:00 and 1:00, and if your last name begins with P-Z, please attend from 1:00 until 2:00. Fr. Michael Ocran will conduct Pati’s funeral at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be at Pine Grove Cemetery immediately following.
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