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  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Patricia Kreutzer is always thinking of others

  • Patricia Kreutzer has always tried to make life better for others, though it hasn’t always been that easy for her.

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  • Patricia Kreutzer has always tried to make life better for others, though it hasn’t always been that easy for her.
    “I’ve lived kind of a colorful life,” said Kreutzer, a resident of Fort Scott Manor since May 7 because of mobility issues. “I raised four children by myself in Hutchinson. I was a single parent and did anything and everything to raise my children.”
    In 1988 she came to Pittsburg to finish her college education.
    “I grew up in Iantha, Mo., and at the time my grandmother was still living, which is what drew me back,” Kreutzer said. “I graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1989, and did my practicum at Safehouse. I worked there for 10 years and served on the board more recently.”
    She then worked at Crawford County Mental Health for 10 years.
    She and husband Aaron Kreutzer were also on-site managers at Housing for All, a facility for the homeless on West Third.
    “We tore out all those storage buildings so they could make what’s there now, and cleaned out all those vacant lots,” Kreutzer said. “We were there for seven years. I always feel good when I see that block now.”
    Her mother, the late Evelyn Caruthers, was also involved in good works. Among the family photos Kreutzer has on her wall is one of her mother receiving an award from President Bill Clinton.
    “My mother helped President Clinton’s mother raise money to redo all the Veterans Hospitals in Arkansas,” she said. “My mother was held of volunteers for the hospitals.”
    Kreutzer also enjoyed membership in the Sunflower Kiwanis Club of Pittsburg. In fact, she became the club’s first woman member in 1990.
    “How it happened, at that time I was working as an advocate at Safehouse and the club mowed the grass there,” Kreutzer said. “They asked me to give three talks to the club about domestic violence, and at the end of the third talk they said I didn’t have to stop coming. Then my husband started wondering where I disappeared every Tuesday morning, so he joined the club in 1993.”
    She served three terms as club secretary and once as president.
    “This will be the first year in many years that I have not been cashier of the hot dog stand at Gorilla Village,” Kreutzer said. “I’ve also been a part of spaghetti feeds and anything the club does.”
    She proudly listed the club’s projects, including mowing the yards for Safehouse and the Children’s Advocacy Center and giving a book to every third grade student in Pittsburg.
    “Most of our projects center around children,” Kreutzer said.
    She said that the main club fundraiser is now the flag program, where club members put up and take down yard flags on five holidays a year for those who pay a fee. This replaces the previous club spaghetti feeds.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It got to the point where everybody was having spaghetti dinners,” Kreutzer said. “This gives us an area that is ours. Club members also collect cans, which is an idea that Robert Hurt came up with.”
    She enjoys getting to club special events, and recently attended the wedding of a grandson.
    “This is a second marriage for both of us, and together my husband and I have 13 grandchildren,” Kreutzer said. “My husband has two daughters in Pittsburg and two grandchildren, and I have a son in Franklin, a son in Benton, Ark., a daughter in Maryland and a son who is moving to Norman, Okla. My kids are very good to me.”
    She also praised the Fort Scott Manor staff.
    “This is my second time here,” she said. “The first time was when I was recuperating from surgery. This time I think I’ll probably be here the rest of my life. They’re so nice to me now. It starts off at the top with administrator Lynette Emmerson and works all the way down.”
    A longtime acquaintance, Shelley Phillips-Corley, who previously worked at Safehouse, is now manor activity director.
    “I was very excited when I heard that Patricia was coming here,” Phillips-Corley said. “She was on my Safehouse board, and now we collaborate every day.”
    Now that she has some leisure, Kreutzer has had the time to explore some interests.
    “I’ve discovered I’m an artist here,” she said. “I guess when I was raising my kids I didn’t have time for something like this.”
    Manor staff entered one of Kreutzer’s paintings in the Bourbon County Fair and it won third place.
    “I was so shocked when they told me,” Kreutzer said. “Now my kids call me Grandma Moses. I’ve decided I’m going to occupy myself with art and paint pictures for my children and grandchildren.”

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