In loving memory of Pat Schabo, our colleague and friend

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Pat Schabo lived with a twinkle in her eye and the kind of work ethic that went beyond time sheets and job descriptions.

During her 25-year career at Winch Financial, she helped build the company from an intriguing idea in a developing industry, to an award-winning establishment with a wide-ranging, loyal client base and more than 18 employees.

When she retired in 2008, Pat left a legacy of cheerful chatter and keen attention to the task at hand.

“We had so many laughs over the years,” said client services specialist Kris Kersten. “She made the day go by so fast and she was always there with a smile.”

Pat passed away on Monday, May 22. She was 84-years old.

“I will miss Pat and I thank her for supporting me every day at work for more than a decade; standing me up straight; giving me gentle, firm encouraging nudges to carry on,” said Winch Financial President Sam Winch. “Her love, care and understanding never escaped me. I will never forget her kindness and grace….and the occasional risqué story. There are not enough thank you’s to say to begin to show my forever appreciation and gratefulness for every minute I got to share with Pat.”

Pat had a lasting impact not just on Winch Financial employees, but on their families as well.

“She was always there for my mom and dad,” said Tanya Winch, now a financial advisor and member of the company’s board of directors. “She was solid as a rock, loyal, very efficient and extremely kind to us. I remember her hands always being busy. I adored her and (her husband) Donnie. What gems!”

The stories of Pat’s exploits and her cheerful approach to problem solving lingered long after her retirement. There was the time she and her coworkers spent a cold March afternoon tramping through icy mud in their work shoes to find Christina’s lost dog, Maxie.

“When we were looking to buy our first home, Pat took me all over looking at properties,” client services specialist Beth Gorr said. “She was very invested in helping me find a nice place to live. We had a lot of fun looking.”

“I loved working with Pat,” said Winch Financial Operations Director Sandy Shultz. “She loved her family and she was very proud of them and would tell us stories about her kids and grandkids and of course, had pictures of them on her desk.  Pat would spend most of her workday on the phone, talking to clients, solving problems and requesting distributions from the custodian.  When someone needed an RMD, it was Pat who handled the paperwork.  One of the many things I learned from Pat was how to navigate the pre-computer age and find cost basis, how to calculate an RMD, and how to handle a death claim and all the work that goes into it.  Pat was incredible in her attention to detail and would help me proofread newsletters, articles, and letters. Pat helped Christina grow Winch Financial from the very beginning into the wealth management firm we are today.  Pat was the best co-worker and we were all sad when she retired, because we knew we would miss her spunk and her knowledge.  Pat loved the Packers and it was the first thing we would talk about on Monday mornings after a game.  Pat was kind enough to postpone her retirement a few weeks, while I was on maternity leave, so the office wasn’t as short-handed while I was gone.  After Pat retired, we loved seeing her and Donnie when they came in for appointments and the occasional party at Christina’s house.  Pat made Winch Financial feel like a family.”

Though she formally retired 15 years ago, Pat remained a member of the Winch Financial family as both a client and a friend.

“I have always loved Pat Schabo,” said Winch Financial founder Christina Winch. “She was so fabulous with everybody and the problems that needed to be solved and all our clients that I never needed to worry. I am grieving her passing but I loved her dearly.”