Patricia Creel Mestenhauser
Patricia Creel Mestenhauser
Patricia Creel Mestenhauser
Patricia Creel Mestenhauser
Patricia Creel Mestenhauser

Obituary of Patricia Elizabeth Creel Mestenhauser

Patricia Elizabeth Creel Mestenhauser (Pat) – daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, passed away on May 24, 2024 at her home in The Pillars of Prospect Park in Minneapolis. She would have been 96 years old in July. A public celebration of her life will be held at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 1979 Old Hudson Rd, St. Paul, MN, on Friday June 7, 2024 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM (with program at 2:30pm)

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Mestenhauser Legacy Fund, at the University of Minnesota Foundation.   For more information about the Legacy Fund, please visit  Donations can also be made during Pat’s celebration of life.

Pat was born on July 22, 1928 in Spokane Washington where she was raised as the only child of Herbert and Hazel Creel. She attended school there, including attending business school. She taught Sunday school and business school courses such as typing and shorthand.  She took a ski class while attending Eastern Washington University in Cheney Washington, where she met her future ski-instructor-husband, Joe Mestenhauser. They were married in 1951 and moved to Minnesota shortly afterwards where Joe would complete graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. They then made south Minneapolis their permanent home, where they raised their three children, while also enjoying a summer cabin on Big Green Lake in Chisago City, Minnesota. Eventually they sold their home and moved to a condo in Richfield. Since then Pat made her home in a few facilities: Sunrise of Edina, York Gardens (Edina), Episcopal Homes (St Paul), and most recently The Pillars of Prospect Park.

Pat is preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Josef Mestenhauser, and her son, Josef Paul Mestenhauser.

Pat is survived by daughters Anne Bentley and Patricia (Bryan) Bergh, grandsons Stefan Bergh and Kristofer (Olga Galina) Bergh, granddaughters Johanna Bergh and Lisa (Raymond) Mulero, and great granddaughter Arianna Mulero. She is also survived by Joe’s extended family, living in both Minneapolis, and the Czech Republic. 

Pat’s husband, Dr. Josef Mestenhauser, was a professor at the University of Minnesota, pioneer in the field of international education and former Honorary Consul to the Czech Republic. He traveled, lived, and worked in many countries as a result of his work. Pat was his partner both in life and by sharing all parts of his career. Together, and sometimes with the rest of the family, they traveled and lived abroad in Japan, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic. She also supported his career locally, as the couple was extensively involved in international and cross-cultural activities and events. Early in Joe’s career, the couple had several foreign students living with them, and some of them taught Pat how to cook cuisine from their home countries. Pat and Joe frequently entertained University staff, foreign students, international scholars, and dignitaries from all over the world at their homes in Minneapolis and the lake cabin. During some of Joe’s travels Pat and the family traveled with him, while other times Pat held down the fort at home when she wasn’t able to join him.

Pat wore many other hats as well.  She was involved in politics for almost 50 years, beginning in the 1960s.

She was a member of the League of Women Voters, which was worked to break down racial barriers – especially with respect to “red-lining” in areas of south Minneapolis.  In the 60s, Pat called realtors on behalf of her close African American friends, which allowed them to purchase a house on Mississippi Blvd.     

Pat also served as a Girl Scout troop leader for her daughters and a Cub Scout Den Mother, for her son.

For many years she raised and showed Shetland Sheepdogs, including breeding a Best in Show winner, and she passed this down to her daughters, both of whom trained and showed her dogs in obedience competitions.

Pat’s work was often behind the scenes, supporting her husband, children and grandchildren, advocating for her friends, and inviting to her table countless friends and students from both near and far.  She became a “mom” to countless people around the world and even in her last days, she “adopted” new “children” into her fold. 

A Memorial Tree was planted for Patricia
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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