Nadene Pasinski, 89, died peacefully holding her daughter’s hand at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, WA on January 20, 2018 following a severe stroke. She left this world on her mother’s birthday, the same day as her mother’s death in 1994, and at the same age; we believe there is a joyful celebration in heaven at this reunion. Nadene’s family surrounded her the last days of her life singing, talking, praying, laughing, crying, and telling her of our great love for her until her death in the early morning hours. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Nadene was born in Seattle, WA on Oct. 18, 1928 to Carl Meredith Buchanan and Ercy Ellen Cole Buchanan. She enjoyed much laughter and mischief-making with her older brother Don and her two younger brothers Carl and Garner. When Nadene was eleven, the family moved from Seattle to Sitka, AK. She always claimed to be a bit of a tomboy growing up with brothers and told stories about protecting her younger siblings from bullies on the way to school. Those who knew and loved her can testify to her feisty, protective spirit, never one to give in easily and always ready to help those in need.
Nadene attended Sitka High School where she was active as a cheerleader and a member of the basketball team. Her school days were spent on the water and islands around Sitka, boating and swimming the channel or ice skating on the lake in winter. Summers she worked with her friend Polly on a fish buyer. She skipped school the day WWII ended to tell the lookout on the mountain that the war was finally over.
She met the love of her life, Eugene “Sketch” Pasinski, on a blind date in Sitka, where he had been serving with the U.S. Army after WWII. They dated three months and made a lifelong commitment of marriage on October 12, 1946. Nadene and Sketch were married for fifty-five years until his death in January, 2002 and she always said there was no one as handsome as her husband.
Their first child Eugene Pasinski, Jr., was born in Sitka in 1947, followed by a move to Glassport, PA, the birthplace of Eugene Pasinski, Sr. Then in 1952 the family made their home in Ferndale, WA where Nadene’s grandparents had settled after moving to Whatcom County in 1889 and where she lived for the next 66 years. Nadene and Sketch’s daughter Leslie was born in 1956 and their daughter Terri in 1958. For several years they lived on a little piece of farmland at the top of Olson Road in Ferndale until moving to family property on Lummi Bay. Nadene loved the open view of the water and the summer picnics on the beach with friends and family.
Nadene was an excellent homemaker; sewing, canning, baking, and always providing home-cooked meals for her family. Her children’s friends enjoyed her company and would sometimes come to the house just to chat with her. She worked summers at Kelly-Farquhar Food Processors doing FDA grading and as a registrar in the early days of Whatcom Community College. She volunteered at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham as a Eucharistic Minister, praying with the patients as she made her rounds. Nadene was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ferndale and a member of St. Mary’s Guild. She taught Sunday school at St. Joachim’s on the Lummi Reservation for several years. Sketch and Nadene had many friends, especially with the relocated Mobil Oil families from Olean, NY.
Nadene enjoyed golfing, bowling, sewing, knitting, dancing, dressing up at Halloween, visiting with friends over coffee, preparing for Christmas and Easter, teaching her children silly songs, playing cards with friends, taking road trips, camping at the Sasken’s property, mushroom hunting, clam-digging, beach combing, feeding the birds, attending her grandchildren’s events, and snuggling with Sketch on the couch. She regretted that she never got her pilot’s license as it suited her daredevil nature.
Nadene and Sketch made frequent trips to see family in Pennsylvania, with friends to Reno, and to the Oregon Coast to visit her mom Ercy and step-father Wesley Wylie. They moved to Saudi Arabia for work shortly before Sketch retired and traveled extensively in Asia and Europe. In later years on their anniversary they would hike to Artist Point at Mount Baker to enjoy the October foliage.
She is survived by her son Eugene Pasinski, Jr., and wife Sonja Wingard of Bellingham, daughter Leslie Drury and husband Charles of Ferndale, and daughter Terri Melcher and husband Michael of Bellingham; grandchildren Sketch Pasinski and wife Wendy, Cutzi Jobes and husband Justin, Morgan Pasinski and husband Jamie Hudson, Keenan Campbell and husband Jacob, Cole Melcher and girlfriend Casey, Cruz Melcher, Abbey Drury, Gabriel Drury; and 9 great-grandchildren: EJ and Barlow Pasinski, and Steele, Adia, Xochi, Tobin, and Jonatha Jobes, Eli and Leo Campbell. Her grandchildren were the light of her life and seeing them always brought a twinkle to her eye or a special wink. She is also survived by four sisters-in-law: Virginia Buchanan, Melitta Buchanan, Lavonne Martin, and Beverly Buchanan. All were uniquely special to her throughout her life and welcomed as sisters.
Nadene is predeceased by her husband Eugene Pasinski (January, 2002); brothers Donald Buchanan, Carl Buchanan, Jr., and Garner Buchanan; father Carl Buchanan, Sr., mother Ercy Cole Buchanan, and step-father Wesley Wylie.
Nadene will be remembered by her many acquaintances and family as a generous-hearted, deeply caring woman. If she had it within her means to support someone or volunteer her time and talents, you could count on her to be there for you. She will be missed.
Please contact Moles Funeral Home in Ferndale for further information.
Donations on Nadene’s behalf may be made to Animals as Natural Therapy.