Patricia Johnston Pabst |

Patricia Johnston Pabst

August 21, 1918 - September 12, 2015

Patricia Johnston Pabst died in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the age of 97 on Saturday, September 12. The daughter of June Crandall and Walter V. Johnston, she was born August 21, 1918, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her husband, Harald “Shorty” Pabst, died January 10, 2005, also in Grand Junction.

Together Patsy and Short raised five children, and at various times operated ranches in Colorado near Denver, in South Park, near Carbondale, and in Old Snowmass near Aspen. They also had a ranch outside Livingston, Montana.

Patsy’s father and his brother, Harry Stewart Johnston, ran the Robert A. Johnston Company in Milwaukee–maker of cookies, candy, crackers, cocoa, and other products. She was also preceded in death by her siblings: Walter V. Johnston Jr. of Fallbrook, CA; June Ellen Brumder of Milwaukee; Edward Crandall Johnston of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; and David Crandall Johnston of Fallbrook. Her youngest brother, John Keith Crandall Johnston of Milwaukee, survives Patsy.

She is also survived by all her children: Nicholas (Joyce) of Mequon, Wisconsin; John (Cathey) of Grand Junction, Colorado; Kenneth (Robin) of Eagle, Idaho; Tamzin of Encinitas, California; and I.V. of Hotchkiss, Colorado; as well as by 12 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

As a young girl, Patsy attended Milwaukee Lake School for Girls, and graduated from Downer Seminary. She then attended House in the Pines in Norton, Massachusetts, where she was able to have a horse and enter equestrian shows and competitions. There are many black-and-white photos of her jumping her horse while sitting sidesaddle. Both she and her husband, Shorty (born and raised in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin), were known as accomplished equestrians, but switched to Western Style, roping, and herding cattle after they moved to the Rocky Mountains as a young couple in 1946.

For many years Patsy, Shorty, and their children lived either on their ranch just outside Aspen, Colorado, or in Aspen itself. Patsy and Shorty were involved in numerous civic, cultural, and business affairs in town. In the early 1960s, Shorty was major of Aspen, and also served as a trustee of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.

We, her children, know Mom believed in an afterlife. We wish her bon voyage and hope she meets up along the way with relatives, best friends, and her favorite horses and dogs. She will also need a good pair of skis and the deep powder snow in which to use them.

A memorial mass will be held Thursday, September 17, at 10:00 am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Grand Junction. A private memorial service will also be held at a later date in Wisconsin.

Patsy would appreciate having memorials sent to St. Benedict’s Monastery, 1012 Monastery Road, Snowmass, CO 81654, or to Colorado Rocky Mountain School 500 Holden Way, Carbondale, CO 81623, or to Hope West Hospice, 3090 N. 12th, Grand Junction, CO 81506.