Arbie Victor Patschke

Arbie Patschke passed away at the age of 88 in Colorado Springs. He was a long-term missionary to Japan and the beloved father of seven children.

Arbie was born in the small town of Thorndale, Texas, where his father owned a local barbershop. He embarked on his seminary preparation at the early age of 13 with the love and support of his family and community, enrolling at Concordia Lutheran, a boarding school in Austin. From there he went on to St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas, the to Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. His 35 years of missionary work in Japan began with his two-year vicar service in 1951. Serving most of his missionary career in northern Japan, Arbie traversed the snowy roads to multiple churches in Hokkaido and Fukushima, and shoveled the paths to church kindergartens where he was headmaster.

He was invited to give sermons in a TB hospital warn, a remote prison, and an Ainu village. Arbie had a great respect and passion for the Japanese culture, including the written language, culinary arts, and classical music and studied under a shakuhachi master. The partnership he shared with his Japanese brothers an sisters and fellow missionaries gave him such great joy, that shortly after retirement from Aid Association for Lutherans in Boston and participation in Japan Missionaries in Indiana, he returned to Japan for another six years of volunteer missionary service in Iwanai, Hokkaido.

Arbie had a gift for remembering people’s names. Later his memory would be ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease. He was cared for lovingly by his daughter Stephanie and Palisades Assisted Living, and took great comfort in therapy dogs and chickens.

Arbie is preceded in death by parents, Otto and Hedwig Patschke; and siblings, Elanor “Tootie” Pankonien, Marvin Patschke, and Artice Tate.

He is survived by his youngest sister, Nancy Harper; by six children from his marriage to Margaret Krohn Patschke, Deborah (Bruce) Davidson, Victoria Patschke, Stephanie (Jim) Gagnepain, Cynthia Patschke, Nathaniel (Sumie) Patschke, and Naomi Patschke; and a daughter, Heidi Patschke from his later marriage to Karen Seager Patschke. He loved his many nieces and nephews; and his five grandchildren, Sarah Davidson, Asher Davidson, Emily Valentin, Vincent Gagnepain, and Maiko Patschke.

A memorial service to celebrate Arbie’s life was held on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Chapel of Memories, 829 South Hancock, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.