Mary Lou Pasternak

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Mary Lou Pasternak was born to Lottie Emma Carson and Thomas Harrison Patterson on May 7, 1930, in Clarksburg, West Virginia. She was the youngest of ten children, and served as the primary caregiver for her paralyzed mother and father as an early teen. She grew up in Summit Park, and attended and graduated from Victory High School in 1948.

She was married to Bernard Pasternak, of Summit Park, on August 27, 1948, and celebrated forty-one years of marriage, until Bernard’s early passing in 1989. Bernard and Mary Lou relocated to Crozet in 1967. Mary Lou worked her entire life, as a mother and homemaker, and later joined the workforce as an office administrator at Morton Frozen Foods, and later Conagra Frozen Foods, where she worked for 23 years, followed by a career at Kroger that spanned 16 years. Mary Lou continued to work at various part-time positions in the Crozet community until she turned 80 years old. Up until her passing, she volunteered to work on artwork for children to color at UVA Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald house.

Mary Lou loved country music, Patsy Cline and Ray Charles, and loved to sing and dance, and have a cold beer once in a while. She was the driving force in bringing music to the lives of her children, and grandchildren. She purchased the family’s first flattop guitar from the general store in Durbin, WV, and taught herself, and the boys, to play all the country standards. Mary Lou loved to cook and learned all the Polish recipes working at the side of Grandma Pasternak, to pass on these traditions to future generations.

Mary Lou is survived by her four children, David and wife, Barbara, of Nellysford, Steven of Frederick, MD, Gary and wife, Camille, of San Marcos, TX, and Peggy and fiancé, Russ Brill, Crozet; eight grandchildren, Brian of Columbia, MD, Bobby and wife, Rachel, of Raleigh, NC, Steven and wife, Diana, of Greenville, SC, Nicholas of New York, NY, Katie Schutze and husband, Jack, of San Marcos, TX, Andy and wife, Nazish, of San Marcos, TX, Davy and wife, Alex, of San Marcos, TX, and Abby Love and husband, Dustin, of Greenwood; and 11 great-grandchildren, Jenna, Courtney, Joshua (deceased), Dylan, Taylor, Ruby, Milo, Jude, Murphy, Cyrus, Harvey; and her late niece, Judi Simmons’ husband, John of Bartow, WV. Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, husband, all of her siblings; and daughter-in-law, Donna.

The family owes a tribute to Peggy Pasternak who has sacrificed seven years of her life in providing loving care to her mother. In addition, we offer our heart-felt appreciation for Russ Brill for his assistance and support to Peggy during this journey. We are so thankful for Hospice of the Piedmont, and especially Jessica Davis, RN, for quality care and guidance over the past year.

It was a hard life well lived. She leaves behind a legacy of hard work and grit, music, singing and dancing that will stand the test of time. She will be missed by all who loved her. Mom, be sure not to sing louder than Ray and Patsy when you see them.

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