Rev. Patti Smith Fenske, 82, a retired Deacon, died Sept. 27, 2015. The Rev. Daniel Mejia officiated at a Memorial Service at St. Matthews UMC in Bowie Oct. 2.
Patti Bennett was born Dec. 10, 1933, in Oklahoma to A.F. and Julia Bennett. She attended local schools and graduated from Tahlequah, Okla., High School. She was a graduate of Scarritt College in Nashville, Tenn., and Wesley Theological Seminary.
She and Rev. Franklin Earl Smith met in seminary and married. They had two children. The marriage ended in divorce after many years of separation. In February 2003 she and Richard Fenske married, but he died soon after in May.
Fenske was first a Diaconal Minister and served at Timonium UMC from 1983 to 1990. She was one of the first women to be ordained a Deacon, and in 1991 began serving at St. Matthews UMC in Bowie. For four years she was also Program Associate for the then Washington West District. In 1995, she began solely at St. Matthews and remained there as associate pastor until she retired in 2004. After retirement she worked at Grace UMC in Baltimore until 2011.
For a number of years, Fenske served as BOOM chaplain during the exam process and at the provisional and ordained retreats.
In 2011 her family helped her move into an assisted living facility as she became unable to adequately care for herself. In 2015, her health and memory had deteriorated enough that she was moved into a specialized group home.
Survivors include her daughter, Julie Cutlip of Towson, son, Shane Smith of Tangent, Ore., and four grandchildren.
Condolences may be sent to Julie Cutlip, 1133 Green Acre Road, Towson, MD 21286 and to Shane Smith, 3211 Tangent Drive, Tangent, OR 97389.