January 2, 1930 - May 7, 2022
Patricia was born Jan 2, 1930 to Leila M. Smith Armstrong and Merritt H. Armstrong. As the youngest in her family and only girl, her much older brothers Harold and Robert were proud of their pretty little sister, even if they also enjoyed teasing her some times. Patricia grew up in Huntington Park, California and loved family visits to the seaside, and the glorious Christmas decorations put up each year in her hometown. She had a powerful sweet tooth all her life and loved any chance to buy candy. Living through World War 2 with both of her brothers in the Pacific theater, she was enamored by the excitement of it, but sheltered from understanding the genuine dangers involved. She learned to play the piano well and enjoyed classical music and hymns throughout her life. After high school, she chose Pepperdine College to follow in her brother Bob’s footsteps. She earned a double Bachelor degree in English and Education. While there, she also met a hunky UCLA football star named Hal Mitchell on a blind date. But Hal expressed some religious ideas to her that sounded very strange, and she said she wouldn’t go out with him again. But after two years, Hal called again, hunky as ever, and he didn’t say anything about religion. They were soon engaged. In the middle of Patricia’s first and only year of teaching 2nd grade, they were married. After Hal was cut from the New York Giants football team, Hal was drafted into the army during the Korean Conflict. They moved to Fort Lee, Virginia. Scott was born after a year of marriage and Pat was determined to do “everything right.” But Scott was fussy and hated sleep, so she was soon at her wits’ end. They decided that they needed religion and began to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hal was already a member, but had never been active. Pat soon desired baptism and she and Hal were entirely committed and deepening their faith through the rest of their lives. Mark, Hal (Jiggs), Beth, Mary, James (Jim) and Hugh joined her family over the next two decades. Her family were her life and there was nobody more eager to hear of her children’s ideas and triumphs than she. Hal’s coaching career took the family from Virginia to Southern California to Utah, to be the freshman and then head football coach for BYU. Pat loved football, and their time at BYU fastened a lifelong interest in BYU sports that only strengthened over the years. But football is an uncertain career and the family moved to Santa Cruz and then Aptos on the California Coast where the family settled for 10 happy years. Pat was talented at living on a shoestring and budgeted carefully for their growing family. When Hal was offered a position in research and development for the Rawlings Sporting goods, the family moved to St. Louis and then a year later to Rolla, MO, where she quickly grew to love her new friends. After 15 years in Missouri Hal and Pat moved back to the area of California where they had lived when their children were young. Pat served as Ward and Stake Relief Society President, Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Seminary teacher and many other responsibilities in The Church of Jesus Christ. Throughout the years, Pat studied Spanish in the hope that someday, she would serve a Church mission to a Spanish-speaking people. After Hal’s death in 1993, Patricia moved back to Orem, UT. She served as a missionary in the SLC Family History Center and then a proselyting mission to Costa Rica. Shortly after she got home from Costa Rica, she married Bud Arnold. She and Bud served a mission as Temple Missionaries in Brazil for The Church. She was widowed again after 16 happy years with Bud. She loved literature, especially Dickens. If she tried to suppress the impulse to correct improper grammar, she often failed. She will be remembered for her love of her children, their spouses, her 44 grandchildren, and 98 great-grandchildren. Anyone that knew her remembers her good cheer, vigorous curiosity, love of reading and writing, zest for life, love of beauty, and eager interest in the people around her. She loved long conversations with friends and family. She was a good listener and a compassionate friend. Though she declined into dementia in the last 5 years of life, she maintained her wittiness, love of her Savior Jesus Christ and interest in her family. She died in her sleep, May 7 2022 of congestive heart failure. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday May 14, 2022 at the Windsor 1st Ward, 1505 North Timberwolf Trail, Orem, Utah with a viewing to begin at 9:00 am. Interment to follow at Orem City Cemetery, 1520 North 800 East, Orem, Utah.
Patricia was born Jan 2, 1930 to Leila M. Smith Armstrong and Merritt H. Armstrong. As the youngest in her family and only girl, her much older brothers Harold and Robert were proud of their pretty little sister, even if they also enjoyed teasing... View Obituary & Service Information
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