Mar 262014

Patricia Frances Black Stratton, 94, passed away on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Services honoring her remarkable life of compassion and service will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, March 29, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 1501 N. Kinsley Ave. in Winslow. Greeting and visitation will be held during the hour before the service.
Pat was born on July 26, 1919.
As a child she enjoyed rabbit hunting with her father in Holbrook, and camping, fishing, hiking and hunting at Greer. She and her friends frequently walked the seven miles to swim at Clear Creek and dive off of the old bridge. She and her sister, Betty, did exhibition dancing for the local clubs.
At Winslow Junior High School and Winslow High School, she was the cheerleader. At the Women’s State Track Meet in Flagstaff, she took third place in the overall category, and won several individual awards.
At Los Angeles City School in California, she enjoyed synchronized swimming and was a starter on the hockey team. At the University of Arizona she won several medals in competitive swimming and diving events in preparation for the Olympics.
She met Charles Lindbergh in Winslow, who inspired her to earn her pilot’s license. At only 19 years of age, she was one of the youngest female pilots in Arizona. A picture of her and her plane, commemorating this accomplishment is on display in the Winslow Airport.
She met Clifford Stratton at a dance at the American Legion Hall in Winslow. She was so impressed with Cliff that she cancelled her full dance card and danced with him all evening. A few months later, on July 28, 1941, they were married.
Her father, Elmer Black, served on the Winslow City Council for 18 years and a term as mayor. Her mother, Margaret Treat Black, owned a prominent women’s dress shop. So, Pat and Cliff’s engagement tea and marriage were major social events in Winslow.
She and Cliff raised their family in Winslow.
Pat and Cliff were active in their church. They were sealed for “eternity” on July 1, 1959, in the Mesa Temple of the LDS church. Pat particularly enjoyed her service on the Stake Primary Board and later working with the Young Adults attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff when her children attended there. They served among the Lamanites on the reservations for many years.
After their retirement, Pat and Cliff served a senior mission to the Montana Billings Mission (Feb 28, 1980-July 28, 1981). Cliff then served as bishop of the Winslow Third Ward for several years. Finally, they served two senior missions to the Mesa Temple. Genealogy and temple work were always priorities in Pat’s life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford Stratton; her sister, Betty (Margaret Elizabeth Black Parks); and her grandson, Jacob I. Openshaw.
Survivors include her children, Carole Ann Stratton Openshaw (Robert Openshaw), Clifford James Stratton (Marsha Romney), Margaret Emma Stratton Dana Jorgenson (Gerald W. Dana, deceased; Sherrell C. Jorgenson) and Charles Elmer Stratton (Peggy S. Watts, Jana L. Christopherson); 22 grandchildren; and 45 great-grandchildren.
A more complete account of Cliff and Pat’s life together, and of Pat’s nine generations of Arizona ancestry is included in Early Tucson: The History and Genealogy of Atanacia Santa Cruz Bojorques Hughes,
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of the arrangements.