Patricia Lou Murray Zahniser was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She was born on January 8, 1927 in Warren, PA as the eldest daughter of the late Hilver and Denzil Murray, and lived her early years in North Warren, PA. She graduated as a class Salutatorian from Warren High School in 1944, and enjoyed playing the violin in high school. She later encouraged each of her children to play a musical instrument. Pat (also known as “Patty” in high school and by immediate family) graduated in 1948 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts. There she met the love of her life, Paul Nelson Zahniser. They were married at the North Warren Presbyterian Church in 1949. Upon graduation, Pat embarked on her teaching career in Kane, PA, where she taught high school French and Spanish.
Pat started her family while living in South Charleston, WV. In 1957, they moved to Larchmont, NY, where they lived 20 years, and later moved to Cherry Hill, NJ. In her 40s she returned to college to earn her Master of Science in Education at the College of New Rochelle, graduating in 1975. She then taught Special Reading in Camden, NJ for several years. Following retirement, Pat and Paul moved to Florida in 1988. Her children and grandchildren loved playing gold in their “over 55” golf and activitycentric development in Flordia, swimming and frolicking in their pool, and visiting Busch Gardens, WeekiWachee (mermaid show and manatees), Tarpon Springs, and many other sights. Each visit provided many great memories for everyone. Pat and Paul made many new friends through their community and their Episcopal church in Spring Hill, FL and enjoyed traveling around the world…to Europe (and finding Pat’s relatives in Ireland), the Holy Land with their Spring Hill congregation, Zermatt, Switzerland with their daughter, and Canada, as well as visits to friends and family around the country. Pat especially enjoyed attending her Warren High School reunions.
After spending more than 30 years in FL, Pat and Paul relocated in 2018 for the final time back to PA, to be closer to family. Pat thoroughly enjoyed the independent living campus, the dining facilities, and the conveniences and care provided by Freedom Village in Coatesville, PA.
Pat passed away peacefully on April 15, with family at her side. She is survived by her loving husband of 70 years, Paul Zahniser, Coatesville, PA; her children, Christine Zahniser (David Word) of Atlanta, GA, Joseph Zahniser (Susan) of Seattle, WA, and Thomas Zahniser (Barbara) of Downingtown, PA. She is also survived by her loving sister Kathleen Praino (Marty) of West Chester, PA. Known as “Grammy Pat” and “Grandma,” she adored her grandchildren (Jake and Katherine ZahniserWord, Matthew Zahniser, Sarah Z. Herr, Joshua and Daniel Zahniser) and greatgrandchildren (Lincon ZahniserWord, Axton Zahniser, and Esther Herr). She is also survived by many dear nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her daughter, Catherine Boas (Ray) of Walpole, NH and her sister, Virginia Swanson (Dean).
The family is very thankful for the amazing staff at Freedom Village and more recently, Brookdale Hospice. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donation would be greatfully appreciated by the family. Brookdale Hospice (995 Old Eagle School Road, Ste 315, Wayne, PA 19087), or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (2301 CR589, Spring Hill, FL 34606).