Born in Chicago on Sept. 2, 1928 to Harold F. and Mildred E. (McCluskey) Sweeney, Patricia Ann (Sweeney) Rains (now 92 years old), a city girl, met and fell in love with a farm boy. Flying cross-country with her father in his co-owned single-engine plane might have contributed to her entering Purdue’s Aeronautical Engineering program and meeting her future husband, Donald Keith Rains, a WWII B-29 pilot and noted fast pitch softball player. They bought property in Antioch, Ind., built a brick ranch home (designed by Pat) with a spacious yard for imagining and exploring.
Pat is survived by her children, Mark (Cheryl) Rains of Maine, Mike (Gisela) Rains of Michigan, Donna (Richard) Clearman of Minnesota, Deana (Kevin) Brown of Missouri and Darla (Keith) Schoettmer of Indiana; 16 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren with one more on the way.
She cheered for innumerable sporting events (never missed even one), encouraged kids to play instruments and participate in band, variety shows, theater performances, and insisted they excel in school. All five kids earned college degrees.
Many of Pat’s lifelong friendships grew from church activities and through her kids’ social groups. She was a member of United Methodist Church then Antioch Christian Church.
Pat was a sought-after neighborhood friend to many, a living lesson of love, generosity, and hospitality. Her loving home hosted many game centered gatherings and music jam sessions. Her vivacious love for the outdoors prompted her to camp and hike often in Indiana’s spectacular State Parks and to execute cross-country, tent-trailer camping trips through National Parks in the U.S. (her parents met while working at Yellowstone). Beautiful scenery, laughing children, birch bark paper, flickering campfires, crunchy fall leaves, furry collies, red cardinals, and of course, ice cream will remind you of Pat. She and Don built a North woods cabin retreat in Wisconsin on Bird Lake. After her husband’s death in 1987, Pat’s adventurous spirit led her to her cabin ‘home away from home’ multiple times a year, two collies in tow. She entertained three generations of children there, who have come to share her love of the lake (and the local ice cream).
Her Campfire Girl experience in her youth catapulted her into being a den-leader for Cub Scouts and troop-leader for Brownies and Girl Scouts, and support for multiple 4-H projects. She passed on the important skills of home making and hospitality by teaching future generations to garden, sew, and cook including the family favorite, crabapple jelly. Pat loved to try out and catalog recipes, and was active in the local home economics club. She was a talented nature artist with an eye for color, a photographer and an antique collector. Pat (Mom, Grandma) planted a seed of creativity in each of her kids with her ‘hey, I can make that’ approach to food preparation, sewing, decorating, crafts, and furniture restoration. She exemplified thinking outside of the box.
Her zest for life was contagious and continues to shine through her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they try new activities and replicate the outdoor adventures that Pat eagerly sought throughout her life. She thrived on being supportive to both family and friends, as well as keeping traditions going. Care packages and phone calls followed each of her kids as they ventured further from home. Pat and Don laid an incredible foundation for nurturing family, and she will be remembered forever for the loving influence she has had on many lives. Her love will be passed on through generations to come. Setting the example, she cared for her elderly mother at home, so her daughter, Darla, along with family and friends have lovingly, protected, entertained, and nurtured her for the past decade, where she peacefully passed surrounded by family on Nov. 11, 2020.
Instead of a traditional funeral service, we welcome you to view her virtual Celebration of Life on her obituary page at www.young-nichols.com where condolences may also be left for her family.
Young-Nichols Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Rains family.
In keeping with Pat’s love for animals, memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the planned animal shelter in Tipton through the City of Tipton, 216 S. Main St., Tipton, Ind., 46072, or to Antioch Christian Church, 4625 State Road 39, Frankfort, Ind. 46072.