Lainegene Patricia “Patti” Van Dusen passed away suddenly on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. She was 84 years “young” and resided in Millsboro, Del. She was a true “California girl,” born in San Diego, Calif. She graduated from San Diego State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in modern dance.

Van Dusen was one of a kind, described by friends as a little angel that was strong, quirky, kindhearted, bubbly, charismatic, loving, beautiful, happy, graceful and a ray of light. She had a full, amazing life filled with energy. She packed a lot of life and love in her 84 years as she traveled the country and globe with stops in California, Texas, Germany, France, Alabama, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. She had recently moved to be with her daughters in Delaware.

She had a real passion for people and life. She not only taught exercise and dance in many of the states where she lived, but she also “walked the walk” and earned a black belt in taekwondo. Her career was as diverse as she was. She owned a real estate company, worked for the U.S. Census, ran the Officer Wives’ Club at numerous U.S. Air Force bases and panned for gold in the Rocky Mountains. She also loved to volunteer at local libraries and hospitals, and was active in her community.

Her idols were Phyllis Diller and Zsa Zsa Gabor, which explains why she made lasting impressions and friends whereever she traveled. Her unmistakable shout outs of “Dahling” or “Sanks” (instead of “thanks”) would light up a room. Her favorite loves were traveling, all animals, mountains, oceans, rain, painting, candles, family, making new friends, jewelry (the more bling the better), hugs, gardening, birding and Dairy Queen.

Van Dusen is survived by her brother, Rik Henslee (and Barbara); her two daughters, Cheri Grieashamer (and Hank) and Sandy Wolfgang (and Roger); four grandchildren, Chris Smith (and Brittany), Crystal Khan (and Ron), Kimberly Lee (and Matt) and Zeke Wolfgang (and Bridget); along with her eight great-grandchildren Danielle, Kristin, Lucas, Michaela, Chaedence, Brody, Chloe and Chiara. she also leaves behind her new love, Will, and her beloved kitty Tom Cat.

“So, when you remember Patti, please smile and remember the gal riding her red trike with handlebar streamers, flag waving in the back, bell ringing, and wearing a great big smile while waving at friends, saying, ‘Sanks, you Dahlings. It has been a fun ride!’”

Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.