Patricia Sellers Rukavina


Patricia Sellers Rukavina, our beloved mother, passed away on July 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Patricia (Grandma Pat) was born on June 23, 1924, to Allen W. and Florence Cross Sellers. She graduated from high school in Lyman, then from the University of Wyoming with a degree in piano and clarinet. After that, she went to Boston and studied clarinet with the first chair clarinetist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While at the University of Wyoming, she met her future husband, Tony, and on Jan. 31, 1949, they married in Urie. Together they raised four children — John, Richard, Larry and Ramona — and were married for 66 years. 

Patricia was a fervent lover of life, always positive, encouraging and hardworking. She was an avid reader. In addition to raising a family, she also taught many dozens of students piano and clarinet. She didn’t retire from teaching until she was 87 years old. Grandma Pat enjoyed traveling, tennis and swimming. She swam several times a week up until the last half year of her life, always pulling herself up the stepper and “counting in French to 100” before she got out of the pool. 

Mother simply had infinite love for her family. Nothing was more important than them. A.W. Sellers meetings, going to the homestead and especially going to Ramona’s on her birthday were always joyous occasions for her. Each and every family member had numerous experiences with Patricia where that boundless love radiated to them. 

Grandma Pat had four grandchildren: Robert, Christopher, Samantha and Amelia. She also had one great-grandson, Jaxon. She loved them all so much. They all were an important part of her life from the time they were babies. 

She took in Robert during difficult times and was happy to see him start turning things around. She always enjoyed the frequent visits from Christopher as he helped her with yard work. His presence always made her happy. She was tremendously proud of Samantha, especially when she graduated from college. Samantha always went out of her way to stay in touch, and Grandma greatly appreciated it. Grandma also thoroughly enjoyed Amelia. She attended many of Amelia’s dance performances. They brought her great happiness and joy. 

And then there was great-grandson Jaxon. She played with him constantly whenever he was around. Just seeing him would make her face light up. In fact, the last time we saw her smile, she was playing with Jaxon. 

Patricia lived a full, happy and productive life. Because of her, our lives are better. The attributes of a life well lived have not gone unnoticed. We will love you forever. Rest in peace, Mom. 

Patricia is preceded in death by her husband, Tony Rukavina; son Richard Rukavina; brothers, Allen Sellers, Dwight Sellers and John (Jack) Sellers; and sister, Shirley Okano. She is survived by sons John (Christy) Rukavina and Larry Rukavina and by her daughter, Ramona Rukavina. She is also survived by four grandchildren: Robert Allen Rukavina, Christopher John Rukavina, Samantha Jane Rukavina and Amelia Anne Rukavina; and one great-grandson, Jaxon David Rukavina. 

We will be celebrating Patricia’s life at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 30, in the southeast corner of the Whispering Pines section of Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 S. Highland Drive in Salt Lake City. 

The family would like to thank Canyon Hospice, particularly nurse Michelle and aide Holly, for the attentive and compassionate care they gave Mom in her final days. The family would also like to extend its deepest thanks to Dr. Stephen Aslami, an extraordinary physician, who cared for Patricia for many years.

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