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Della Patricia Mostert, 83, passed peacefully in her sleep on December 24, 2021 in Huntersville, North Carolina. Patty is survived by her husband of 63 years, Bob Ross Mostert, her son Brent (Susie) Ross Mostert, her son Brad (Genienne) Ross Mostert, her daughter Kamala (Gary) Leah Mostert and six grandchildren. Patty is preceded in death by her daughter Julie Wynn Mostert (d.1977).
Patty was born February 11, 1938 in Deadwood, South Dakota to Geneva Isabelle Busby (d. 1966) and Robert Carl Larson (d. 1986). In 1941 Patty and her family moved to Sturgis, South Dakota. In 1950 Geneva married James Haley (d. 1973). Jim Haley was a rancher, owner of the Kozy Kitchen Cafe, where Patty had her first job, and one of the founding partners of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Jim had an extraordinarily positive impact on Patty’s life, introducing her to Rodeo competition and to her Catholic faith. Patty thereafter referred to herself as Patricia Haley.
Patty was a distinguished western rodeo horseback rider, a formidable competitor in barrel racing and calf roping. 1953 State High School Rodeo Queen, 1953 National Champion Girl Break-away Calf Roper, 1954 State Rodeo Break-away Calf Roping Champion and Miss Rodeo South Dakota 1956. Patty was 1st runner up for the Miss America Rodeo 1957. A stunningly beautiful young lady, Patty was the perfect winner for the inaugural Miss Rodeo South Dakota competition, an event still held 65 years later. (In 2006, Patty was celebrated in the Belle Fourche, SD July 4th parade on the 50th anniversary of her Miss Rodeo South Dakota victory. The Tri-State Western Museum in Spearfish, SD featured a temporary display of Patty’s rodeo gear and memorabilia in her honor that summer.)
In 1956 Patty Haley started college at South Dakota State University and it was there that she met her husband Bobby Ross Mostert (b. 1935 in Philip, SD to Sylvia Gladys Knutson & William Ross Mostert). Bob and Patty wed on May 19, 1958 in Fall River, South Dakota.
Leaving their home state of South Dakota in 1958, Bob & Patty moved first to Fort Benning, Georgia, where Bob was stationed in the Army. A brief stay in Denver, Colorado followed with several years living in Simi Valley, California, then Rockville Centre, New York, before settling for 42 years in Vienna, Virginia. In 2019 Bob & Patty moved to Huntersville, North Carolina to be closer to their sons Brent and Brad.
Patty was president of the Virginia Welcome Wagon Club of Vienna/Oakton in the 1980’s and a busy wife and homemaker for her four children and husband. An exceptionally bright woman, Patty was a savvy investor and a successful realtor. A doting grandmother, she will be missed terribly by her family. An extraordinary life that began during the depression in deep poverty, Patty navigated a kaleidoscope of changing landscapes, from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the suburbs of Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C. Patty loved Virginia, horse country with deep historical roots in our nation’s founding. A highlight for Patty was attending the United States presidential inaugural balls in Washington D.C. for our 41st President in 1989. Occasionally mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor, wife of Virginia governor John W. Warner, Patty was adored by her husband Bob and will be forever cherished and missed.
A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held Friday, January 14th at 3 p.m. at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Huntersville, NC. Internment will be at Northlake Memorial Gardens in Huntersville.
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