December 5, 1943 – May 18, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Patricia Aurora Pantuso, ‘Pat’, passed away suddenly on May 18, 2022, in the comfort of her home. She was diagnosed with cancer in January and, after several rounds of chemotherapy, died of sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 78.
Up until her diagnosis, Pat lived an active, joyful life, full of bridge games, volunteer opportunities, visits with her grandchildren and long walks with her friends. It is a great comfort to her family that her death was swift and she did not suffer.
Pat was born in Winnipeg on December 5th, 1943 and grew up with her siblings, Eleanor and Ken, and her parents Ernie and Helen Munday. The Mundays were a fun-loving, card-playing family who enjoyed socializing with friends at their cottage at Grand Beach every summer.
Pat’s lifelong interest in dance began early at the McConnell School of Dance, where she donned her first pair of tap shoes and learned many styles of dance, including traditional Irish jigs and reels.
Pat was known for her stage presence and versatility, and at the young age of 17 she landed a professional job dancing on Red River Jamboree, a country music television series, which aired weekly on CBC television.
Always up for an adventure, Pat made the bold move to the west coast in 1967. It was in Vancouver that her friends introduced her to the love of her life, Rudy Pantuso. Pat and Rudy raised three children together, Karen, Marnie and Kevin, and over the next decade they would live in New Westminster, Kamloops and Tsawassen, collecting friends along the way, before finally settling in the Comox Valley in 1976.
In 1977, with all three kids in school, Pat decided to start her own dance studio, ‘The Pat Pantuso School of Dance,’ and for the next thirty years Pat introduced thousands of people to the joy of dance. Though her specialty was tap dance, her recitals included a wide variety of styles.
The popular ‘Dads Dance’ is a tradition that continued when Pat retired and the studio was purchased by Lindsay Sterk in 2007. Pat’s dancers were very dear to her and she kept in touch with many of them long after they left her studio.
She was in her element when she was directing her recitals, and she was involved with everything from choreography and costumes to lighting and music-editing. After 30 years of teaching, Pat decided to retire and spend more time on other passions, such as her grandchildren!
Whether she was babysitting, watching a horseback riding lesson, attending a dance recital, cheering kids on at a swim meet, soccer match, hockey rink or baseball game, Pat was never happier than when she was spending time with her grandkids.
She often planned special “Grandma Adventure Days” for the kids and their time together was always filled with laughter. Family was of utmost importance to Pat, and she cherished every moment spent with loved ones.
Pat’s retirement years were full of activity, variety and fun! She and Rudy loved hosting parties and dinners at their beachfront house, and then later with newfound friends at their Crown Isle home. Pat also enjoyed traveling.
She took many trips with Rudy, other family members and friends, and she often talked about her hiking adventures in Scotland and connecting with her heritage in Iceland. In recent years, Pat became an avid bridge player and her community of friends grew. She took the game seriously and was proud of her accomplishments.
Pat was an outgoing, vivacious, resourceful, productive, accomplished woman and she contributed greatly to her community, not only with her artistic contributions to dance and the Co-Val Choristers, but also by volunteering for numerous charities, organizations and events. She had a strong work ethic and a no-nonsense attitude; no task was insurmountable to Pat.
Pat is predeceased by her parents, Ernie and Helen Munday, her brother Ken and sister-in-law Liz, and her brother-in-law Don.
She is survived by her husband Rudy, her sister Eleanor, her children Karen (Rich), Marnie (Rob) and Kevin (Kristi,) her grandchildren Ava, Stella, Spencer, Sophie, Ben, Oscar, Sully and Fern, and her many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
At a later date, there will be a gathering to celebrate Pat’s life and share the many memories she created with those she loved, and as per her wishes there will be stories, music and laughter. Pat will be remembered as a wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunty, mentor, friend, gardener, teacher, popcorn-eater, card-shark, hostess, dancer, cook, baker, sewer, supporter, joker, and for her immense love of life.
For those wishing to honour Pat’s memory, please consider contributing to the Pat Pantuso Legacy Fund: https://cvcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1327 .
The family warmly welcomes people to share memories of Pat by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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