Patricia “Pat”

Patricia “Pat” Birkholz, 77, of Garrison, ND passed away peacefully on May 31, 2023, in a Bismarck hospital with family by her side. Visitation will take place at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, on Monday, June 5th, from 5:00-7:00pm, with Rosary at 7:00pm. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at 10:00 am at St Nicholas Catholic Church in Garrison, ND. Burial will be at the St. Nicholas Catholic Cemetery.

Pat was born October 2, 1945, to Robert and Ruby (Baluski) Sorensen. She graduated from Garrison High School in 1963, and then attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Pat worked as a Program Assistant at the ASCS office (now the Farm Service Agency “FSA”), starting in June of 1964. In 1965, she moved to Merced, California with her sister Merle, but ultimately returned to North Dakota two years later. She thereafter worked for the FSA for 37 years, retiring on November 3, 2005. Highlights of her career include visiting with her “farmer friends” and getting the opportunity to fly in an airplane (laying on her stomach) to map out farmland.

Pat was united in marriage to Mel Birkholz on February 24, 1968, at the St Nicholas Catholic Church in Garrison.  They made their home outside of Garrison in the house that Melvin built. Together they had two daughters, Kimberly Ann “Kim” and Hollie Renee. This past February, Pat and Mel celebrated 55 years of marriage.

In her free time, Pat enjoyed gardening and planting flowers. She particularly enjoyed creating colorful outdoor potted flower arrangements to display in the yard and on the back deck. For many years, she enjoyed sharing the vegetables from her garden with the community at the local Farmer’s Market, with the assistance of her granddaughters Amber and Sammy. Pat was an excellent cook and baker and enjoyed canning her bountiful produce. She taught her girls to always “clean up as you go” when you are in the kitchen. She was a meticulous record keeper and organizer, always offering detailed instructions and explanations. She enjoyed spending time with her girls and grandkids and always looked forward to Hollie’s weekly calls and video chats with her grandsons Warner and Conrad. In the past few years, Pat was promoted to Great-Grandma of two great-granddaughters Stella and Sharlotte who she always enjoyed visits from, playing with toys and getting all the baby snuggles. Pat was a compassionate and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.

Pat is survived by her husband, Melvin of Garrison; daughters, Kimberly (Daryl) Lies, of Douglas and Hollie (Chris Perejda) Birkholz, of Denver, CO; grandchildren, Samantha (Skylar) Rebel and Amber Rose Lies, of Douglas, and Warner and Conrad Perejda, of Denver, CO; great-grandchildren, Stella and Sharlotte Rebel, of Douglas; sisters, Merle Torkelson, of Washburn, ND, Arlene (Wayne) Crowder, of Sacramento, CA, and Carol Jean (Dan) L-Leatherman, of Perris, CA; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Ruby Sorensen; brothers, Kelly Sorensen and Roger Sorensen; mother and father in-law, Christ and Rose Birkholz; brothers-in-law, Edwin (Adeline) Birkholz, David (Shirley) Birkholz and Gene Ness (partner of Merle); and sister-in-law, Lorraine (Roy) Lucas.

In lieu of flower arrangements, the family would appreciate potted flowers or plants to enjoy all summer, as Pat always had a deck full of colorful flowers.

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