Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home It's all about saying goodbye. Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home
Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
It's all about saying goodbye.
Patricia "Patti" G Wheeling
October 6, 1953 - November 2, 2022

Place of Birth: Greybull, WY
Residence: Sidney, Montana
Age: 69

Patti passed away on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at St. Vincent’s Healthcare, Billings, MT.

On October 6, 1953, Patricia “Patti” Gayle Wilkinson, a beautiful, big blue-eyed baby was born in Greybull, Wyoming to William and Joyce (Collingwood) Wilkinson. Her dad was in Korea, serving in the Air Force, so he didn’t get to see his baby “Trish” until she was a couple months old.

When Patti was 3 years old, they landed in Sidney, MT, which would end up being her forever home. When she was 5 years old, she washed dishes at their family restaurant, The Dutch Mill. She would have to stand on empty pop crates to reach to the bottom of the sink. This was the beginning of the strong work ethic that she developed in life. Patti was the oldest of 6 kids and was in charge of them often. Every Saturday she was given money to take all 5 of her siblings to the matinee. She loved telling them scary stories about haunted schoolhouses and she even told them that the basement was haunted, so that they wouldn’t come downstairs where her bedroom was. She had to drive her siblings to school in the family Studebaker. Brother Mike would always criticize her lack of skill with the stick shift. Patti always excelled in school and had a passion for learning, even though she was diagnosed with dyslexia. After high school, she went to college to pursue her teaching degree. She met her children’s father, and they moved back to Sidney to start a family. They had 4 extraordinary children together: Jesse, Sarah, Julie, and Kari LaFountain. After their marriage ended, she went back to Eastern Montana College, in Billings, to finish her degree.

Patti was a devoted teacher and made an impact on many students and fellow teachers during her 32 years with Sidney Public Schools. She taught a few different elementary grades, including 5th and 2nd, and finished her career with 3rd grade. It was common to see students, both present & former, run up to her with a hug and want to talk with her when she would be out and about. Patti’s kids would often hear that she was a favorite teacher to so many.

Patti’s zest for life made many occasions memorable for her children. Whether it be celebrating birthdays and holidays, taking trips to Medora, ordering in Corner Pocket pizza and getting to invite friends over for a sleepover, or even just working at The Depot, she made life feel special. This is something her kids cherish, and they will carry on the tradition of celebrating all of life’s moments, as she would. Patti was also known, within her large family, for bringing the merriment to the many craft and pool parties she loved to attend. No one will be able to play the role of “dead man” quite like she did. Whenever she knew there would be a get together with her kids and grandkids, she would eagerly start baking and planning menus weeks in advance. Spending time with her family was her greatest joy in life and making food was a big part of how she showed her affection to everyone.

Patti married Mike Wheeling in 1994 and a few months later their first grandchild was born. Patti was determined to create memories with her grandchildren, so her and Mike attended as many of their events as possible. For the next 27 years she enjoyed wrestling, football, dance, gymnastics, school events, water park adventures, graduations, and her beloved trips to Papa’s Pumpkin Patch. Patti loved dogs and liked taking long walks with Sadie Sue. You could see the two of them walking around town and enjoying the day. She recently enjoyed going to NDSU football games. She didn’t care much about the game itself but loved the tailgating and the atmosphere of the dome. She would cheer right along with the students.

Patti is survived by her mother, Joyce Wilkinson; husband, Mike Wheeling; children, Sarah (Dave) Faiman of Sidney, MT, Julie (Lonny) Jacobson of Grand Forks, ND, and Kari (Jason) Abelseth of Rapid City, SD; grandchildren, Logan Deming (Sierra), Megan Deming (Conor), Bode Deming, Jocelyn Jacobson, and Madysen and Malia Abelseth; brothers, Mike (Lisa) Wilkinson and Mark (Kelly) Wilkinson; sisters, Deb (Mike) Delaney, Julie (Don) Weber and Nancy (Mike) Steffan; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Patti was preceded in death by her father, Bill Wilkinson; son, Jesse LaFountain; nephew, Bryan Weber; mother-in-law, Amba Wheeling; father-in-law, Howard Wheeling; brother-in-law, Jim Germann; and sister-in-law, Laura Germann.

Here is to a wonderful lady who made wonderful memories.

Memorial Contribution
If you do send flowers, please be sure to send silk arrangements or non-flowering green plants due to flower allergies in the family. Or, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Christmas Coalition or the Foundation for Community Care.

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Mary Norgard (Fairview, Montana)
Nov 4, 2022
My thoughts and prayers to Pattis family. She was a sweet lady..
Jesse and Monica Reuter
Nov 4, 2022
Prayers for your family during this difficult time. Your mom was such a kind soul.
Marilyn Witt (Sidney , MT)
Nov 4, 2022
I'm so sorry for your loss. May God give you strength and peace.
Tami Maltese
Nov 4, 2022
Patti was always positive and caring. She made terrific popcorn balls at Christmas time. She was always there to volunteer to help me take care of my Mom and my dog Max. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. She will be missed by many people.
Cynthia Misner (Berthold, ND)
Nov 4, 2022
I’m so very sorry for your loss. I met Patty while taking my undergrad courses in Billings. She will be missed by all.
Vicky Panasuk (Livingston , Montana)
Nov 4, 2022
Prayers and peace for the family!
I taught with Patti and did lots of noon duties.
She was a kind and compassionate human being and will be missed by many.
janel alderman (BILLINGS, MT)
Nov 4, 2022
I am so sorry for you loss. I used to love being around her when i would hang out at their house. She was a very special lady. Prayers
Bonnie and Darrell Rogness (Olathe, Kansas)
Nov 5, 2022
So sad to hear about Patti's passing. She was such a kindhearted, gentle soul and will truly be missed. Deepest condolences to Patti's family.
Boni Fant (Snohomish , Washington )
Nov 5, 2022
I am so sad we did not get to meet in person!! Our lives were turned upside down and we still managed to accept reality. We will meet in the future sister.
Roxanne Bakken (Sidney , MT)
Nov 7, 2022
I'm so sorry to hear of Patti's passing, she was always smiling, saying hi to everyone she came across and had such a great outlook. She will truly be missed.
Jess W. (Sidney, Mt)
Nov 7, 2022
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Patti's family and friends. She was such a kind and caring soul.
Dr I (Outback, USA)
Nov 7, 2022
My thoughts and prayers to Mike and family. Patti was a sweet, kind and patient teacher and human being. She will be missed!
Joan Marx (St. Onge, SD)
Nov 7, 2022
Sorry for your loss. Patti was so sweet.
Connie Angel (Sidney, MT)
Nov 7, 2022
What a wonderful lady with a great sense of humor. She will be missed by many and she will be a shining angel in heaven. My condolences to all.
carolyn BUXBAUM (Sidney, MT)
Nov 8, 2022
I worked at Depot with your Mom, she was such a ball of energy and so kind to everyone.
She will be missed by all who knew her.
Theresa Sobolik (Columbia Falls, Montana)
Nov 8, 2022
So very sorry to hear of Patti's passing. My prayers are with the Wilkinson and Wheeling family's. God bless.
Belinda Pavek (Ocean View, Hawaii)
Nov 8, 2022
I’m saddened to hear of Patti’s passing!
Worked with Patti at WestSide Elementary -
Loved her approach to teaching. Feel blessed that I was fortunate enough to work with Patti, My daughter had Patti for a teacher she also remembers Patti as a kind, caring teacher.
We were all blessed to have had moments with such a kind soul. You will be missed Patti
Condolences to Family and Friends
Diana Parker (Billings, MT)
Nov 9, 2022
Patti was the most wonderful mother in law one could have. I would laugh if Jesse didn’t answer or respond I was next. We texted a lot back and forth over the 12 years. She always made me feel welcomed. Tell Jesse hi and I will miss u but know you are peace. Spend the time with your dad and son.
Mary Reed Quiroz (Sidney, MT)
Nov 11, 2022
To the Family of Patti Wheeling,
May God Bless You and bring you comfort and peace. We remember Patti's kind and big heart. She will be missed by many.
A Mass and daily Prayers will be offered for the repose of Patti's soul. We're thankful for the memories that keep her alive in our hearts.
Wanda M Miller (Fairview , MT)
Nov 23, 2022
I so wanted to come to Patti’s memorial service but came down with a cold. I will never forget her or her smile. She was like a bright light everywhere she went. I loved it when she came to the office to see Sarah as she always brightened our day. I thank God that I got to spend some time with her at the kid’s graduation parties. I can see her light in all of her Family that she loved so much. I pray that God will comfort you and give you peace as you grieve. This world is a poorer place without her. God bless you.
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