Patty Ann Kreis was born September 19, 1927 in Warsaw Poland and passed away on February 14, 2016 in the very early morning hours. During those roughly 88 years of life, she lived as a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto; a Partisan fighter in the forests of Eastern Poland; a spy for the Partisan units reporting to them on Wehrmacht strengths and weaknesses; a trader in currencies and scarce goods just after World War II; a worker for the Haganah after the war helping to smuggle the remnants of European Jewry into Palestine in spite of the British blockade; a store owner along with her husband, David Leon Kreis, of Patty Ann’s which specialized in the clothes of children; the interior decorator and business partner of another jointly owned business with her husband specializing in the custom construction of residential housing. They also jointly owned a business in rental properties.
She was a mother and housewife to two children, an aunt, a step grandmother, and a mother-in-law. She belonged to the B’nai B’rith, Hadassah, Beth Shalom and Ohev Shalom Synagogues, The New Americans Club, Israel Bonds, The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. She and her husband contributed to the creation of the JCC Holocaust Memorial in Overland Park, Kansas. This memorial was among the first of its kind in America. She was active in various circles of Jewish and non-Jewish life including the Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Kansas City. She was an avid player of all kinds of card games, and she belonged to many regularly playing card groups, usually specifically playing the game of Pan.
She identified strongly as a Zionist and a supporter of Israel. In the early 1960s she together with her husband helped to raise money from among the Kansas City Holocaust immigrant community to buy a brand-new ambulance for Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent to the American Red Cross. President Harry S. Truman spoke at the dedication.
She was a regular at community events including weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, bris events, etc. even if they took place outside of the Kansas City area. She counted many friends in Kansas City and throughout the United States and even throughout the globe. She was very generous and contributed much to family life and the lives of people she knew around her. She was known for her joyous outlook on life, her commitment to family and friends and her words of encouragement to those she personally knew.
She is survived by her sons Stan Kreis and his wife Kathryn Bernheimer of Lafayette Colorado and Steve Kreis and his wife Janet Kreis of Brooklyn New York. She leaves two step granddaughters Naomi Weingast and Shayna Weingast. She also leaves a nephew Isaac Zukerman of Sarasota Florida and his son Andrew Zukerman of Toronto Canada.
The funeral will be in the Kansas City area on Friday, February 19th at 11:00 am Central Time. The funeral home is McGilley and Loge located at 8024 Santa Fe Dr in Overland Park, KS. A shiva will begin that afternoon in Overland Park, KS and carry forward after shabbat in Lafayette, Colorado at the home of Stan and Kathryn starting this coming Sunday until the next Thursday morning.