Patricia Hewig Death, Obituary – Patricia A. Hewig, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at the age of 73 after a protracted illness. She was surrounded by her family at the time of her death. Patricia was a beloved wife, mother, teacher, and friend. Pat Tenney was born on September 15, 1949 in Ann Arbor, Michigan to her late parents, Craig and Lois (Clayton) Tenney. Pat’s brother, also named Craig Tenney, passed away before she did.
She is survived by her husband of fifty years, Bill Hewig; her daughter, Meagan Hewig Gregorczyk (Dan Bonelli); her son, Billy Hewig (Jessi); her grandson, Lane Hewig; her nieces Jocelyn Bower and Jaclyn Tenney; and her cherished grand dog, Chewy. Pat had a wide range of interests and passions, including her family, a good mystery, sweet cream butter, crocuses in the springtime, cardinals in the snow, sunshine shining through stained glass windows, the red leaves of autumn, and a warm and comfortable nap on a rainy day.
She was a fearless seeker of the truth, an unwavering optimist, and a lifelong learner who never gave up. Pat’s upbringing in Iowa helped shape who she is today, and she went on to earn degrees in English and Education from Cornell College. It was at that institution that she developed her unrivaled debating skills, her unyielding writing standards, and her passion for travel while participating in a study abroad program in Greece.
The appreciation of language and literature that she fostered during these years would serve as a catalyst for the development of her students’ creative potential and personal growth for many years to come. Pat’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Evansville in 1969. It was in this city that she would later marry the man she would call the love of her life, Bill.
She then went on to earn her Master’s degree from Indiana University and worked as an English teacher at North Posey for the next 39 years, during which time she encouraged tens of thousands of students to think analytically, debate deftly, and write persuasively. Pat was known for being a notoriously difficult grader who demanded the best performance from her students as well as from herself. She was also an uncompromising grammarian. She took great pride in her role as an academic competition coach, during which she guided her pupils to multiple state titles, as well as to the honorable position of Indiana State Teacher of the Year for herself.
However, her greatest honor came from assisting those around her in locating their own sense of purpose and believing in themselves. She accomplished all of this while courageously and quietly overcoming multiple bouts of cancer and organ failure throughout her life. Throughout it all, she steadfastly cited her mantra that “happiness is a choice.” Pat’s never-ending curiosity led her on a variety of exciting journeys after she retired from her career as a teacher.
She directed historical research projects, authored a book, traveled the world, and focused an inordinate amount of attention and energy on the education and well-being of her grandson Lane, whom she regarded as her greatest accomplishment. She was an outspoken critic of authoritarianism, rudeness, and anti-intellectualism right up until the moment she took her last breath. She had a keen interest in American civics as well.