Family keeping memory of Pat Thrasher alive and well

By Joel Charron

It’s been 10 years since Pat Thrasher’s family has said good-bye but that’s not stopping them from keeping his memory and legacy alive and well.

Thrasher was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990 and 11 years later was diagnosed with cancer, which started in his bladder and spread through out his body.

The husband of Jayne Thrasher and father of Wes, Rebecca, Lindsay and Brady passed away on his 46th birthday, Nov. 2, 2001

Thrasher, was a business owner, politician, chairman of the MS Society Windsor Chapter, award winning humanitarian and pioneer of the second largest walk-a-thon in Canada (the MS super cites walk.) Thrasher was forced to work from home due to his disability and spend many hours networking with strangers across the globe, inspiring and educating them to over come and deal with their disability.

“He was such a integral part of the Amherstburg community and the MS community,” said daughter Rebecca. “Ten years have passed, its kind of nice to do something to remember him and keep his memory alive. It’s important to us that he doesn’t get forgotten.”

Rebecca, who was 21 at the time of Thrasher passing, said she remembers her father as an inspiration figure who brought out the best in people.

“I didn’t realize how special he was until I was a little older and that’s when we started to see the impact he had on people,” said Banks.

Thrasher wore a number of hats. He sat on town council for six years and was recognized as one of the most popular and youngest representatives to be a member of council.

Dedicated and committed to numerous major projects, Thrasher was appointed to the Recreation Committee and served as chairperson from 1983-88.

Thrasher, along with the volunteers of the committee initiated a number of “major park improvements”; numerous baseball diamonds and soccer fields were created, upgrades to the Lions Club swimming pool along with the creation of neighbourhood parks.

Apart from his civic interest, Thrasher volunteered to well-known charitable organizations, namely, the United Way and the Windsor—Essex County Chapter of the MS Society. While being actively involved in the United Way, he served as chairperson for the Amherstburg/Essex County Division and directed their annual fundraising campaigns from 1988 thru 1990.

In 1999, Thrasher was named Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

In a nomination letter written by former CAO Tom Kilgallin, he wrote:

“Pat Thrasher is a man of integrity, compassion and strong inner resources. Pat continues to give his ideas, energy and support to causes that help people in Amherstburg and the surrounding areas. No one ever asked Pat how he was and received  a negative reply. He never shows any bitterness or ever complains about what must be one of the most depressing of all illness. What Pat has done, is to go out and contribute everything he has, in helping to find a cure for this dreaded disease.”

Rebecca said her father never wanted any credit for the things he did, but rather strived to make other peoples lives easier and noted that her father taught his children to “go the distance” and “do the positive, right thing.”

“He was a great person, a very strong person,” said Rebecca. “You can throw the awards out the door and know that in his core, he was a great man.”

Although, Thrasher never got to meet his grandchildren, Banks said they all know who he is and affectionly refer to as “GrandPat.”

On the tenth anniversary of his death, the Thrasher family gathered together and watched home movies of their fallen hero.

“It’s a nice tribute to a great man who gave so much to the community and family he loved so much,” said Rebecca.

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