Patty Wilkins was a mother to all the young people she ever knew.
"She was a great lady, she really was," said her son, Mark Wilkins.
As a member of the Methodist Hospital Junior Guild, she crafted many cloth octopi for young patients.
The friendly looking "animals" covered the IV connections in the pediatric ward so the kids would not be frightened.
Patty Rue Wilkins, 84, of Valparaiso, died Aug. 7.
"My mom was a mother down to the molecular level," Mark Wilkins said.
Wilkins, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Crown Point, recalled how all of his childhood friends were welcome in their home.
Often he would go home and find friends already playing in the swimming pool and other places.
"She never minded," Mark Wilkins said. "Anybody and everybody was always welcome all the time."
Wilkins was also a very active Republican, her son said.
"She really went to war when it was time to make Merrillville a town."
Her efforts helped secure help from the state general assembly to make it happen, he said.
In the kitchen, "My mom was a chocolate chip cookie's Picasso," Mark Wilkins said.
An old, dented cookie jar always held her home-baked works of art, he said.
"It was the center of the house."
"My brother, sister and I all won the parental lottery with both our parents," Mark Wilkins said.
Patty Wilkins was married over 50 years to her late husband, Wilfred, and the couple enjoyed a wonderful marriage.
"That which I know of love, truly selfless love, I know because she taught me, not with her words, but with her very life," her son said.