09/09/1946 – 02/22/2023
From a chance meeting on The Palm’s dance floor, to the halls of Ventura Community Memorial Hospital, to sitting in nursing school, to the compound next to Red Barn Liquor or being served a drink at the Holiday Inn bar, if you knew her, you were impacted.
From the womb, Pat shared her heart and soul with her brother Michael Stephens, allowing her brother to go first in birth. It was always in the stars that she would enter the world with a heart filled with a giving nature.
Growing up in Ohio with her parents, Jerry Stephens (Ol’ Jer) and Mary Brady, her two sisters Margaret and DeeDee, and twin brother Mike, Pat was a carefree, good Catholic girl (wink), walking miles in snow to and from school. In 1959, the family moved to Lompoc, CA, and then, in 1962, moved to Goleta when Pat was just 14, where she and her siblings attended Bishop Diego High School.
Pat attended Santa Barbara City College. Not too long after beginning college, she met “car-guy” and dragster driving Edwin Lauer, and the Lauer History began. Aaron, her first born, was her pride and joy. Justin came a few years later and was a bundle of love. Her brother had purchased a home in Carpinteria, and Ed and Patricia followed just around the corner on Azalea Drive.
Their home was that home where the door was always open to everyone and all-inclusive to many neighbor kids, even to a plethora of all animals – the neighborhood would never forget “Cheese” and “Quackers,” ducks, aka Local Pest Control. Countless people tell tales of their time and impact at The Lauer House, with many calling it their second home and Pat their second mom. Two boys would have life transformation from that open door: Michael and Grant Cox. A summer stay turned into a lifetime of adoption of love, support and family.
Pat and Ed began Carpinteria Wholesale Floral Company in the 80s and the boys all worked from early ages in the family business. In her spare time (wink) Pat was avid about giving back to her community. We all know she loved the stage, any stage, and was a huge part of the thespian community in Carpinteria. She and many other Den Mothers were the power behind the funding and building of Carpinteria Troop 50 Log Scout House, a beloved place to gather and host for events therein.
Pat and Ed parted ways in marriage, however their everlasting love remained for each other and the entire family. Pat moved to Ventura after the family home on Azalea was sold. After attending Bartending School, her infamous job as a bartender at The Holiday Inn was how she put herself through nursing school – and you knew what nights Pat worked, because it was packed! In 2004 she graduated from Ventura College with a degree in nursing, and, to this day, people still talk of her speech and her “Bare Ass” presentation.
A whole new world, a whole new life, never stopped her from continuing to give to her family and friends. She fell so hard into her career and was so befitting and incredible at it. Because of her presence throughout the halls and walls of CMH and Same-Day Surgery, the hospital was fortunate to receive a major infusion of love and affection for their patients and staff members.
One fateful night in 2002, at the Holiday Inn Bar, Pat found her true love in Jimmie Guzik. Jim and Pat were married and moved into the befitting Sunnyway Drive in Ventura in 2008. Their home became the “compound” for so many family and friend gatherings of “September Birthday Bashes” and holidays filled with so much love, laughter and craziness. Just off the Avenue, Pat would be found feeding and blanketing many of whom her family would refer to as the “Ole Mosey Grubstakes” that slept on the sidewalk, under the eaves of Red Barn Liquor. “Saint Pat,” who never judged, and only gave, had an incredible gift of making anyone she met feel like they mattered and were cared for.
If you were fortunate enough to meet and or even be in a hallway, room or dance floor with Pat Stephens Lauer Guzik, you were deeply impacted in laughter, love and an aura of familial acceptance and circle of giving that seemed never-ending and was always just what you needed.
Pat is survived by her husband, Jimmie Guzik; her brother and sister Michael Stephens (Susie Stephens) and Maureen Stephens Carlson; her sons Aaron Lauer (Susie Lauer), Michael Lauer (Denette Lauer), Grant Cox (Beth Cox), Justin Lauer (and Pat-anointed Zakia Abedin); stepchildren Belinda Lee and Shawn Panduren; grandchildren Tyler Lauer, Tyler Schwartz, Mia Cox, Isabella and Isaac Lauer, Carter Cox and Sophia Lauer; nieces and nephews Adam Simmons (Linda Borgatta), Deborah Schroder (Cole Schroder, Connor and Carly Schroder), Eric Simmons, Michael Nightingale (Melissa, Maddie, Michael), Jessica Kwiatkowski (Ryan, Brandon, Maxton), Matthew Stephens and David Stephens.
A celebration of life will be held on March 19, 2023 at 1 p.m. at The Lions Club, 6197 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria, CA, 93013. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to ALS in honor and memory of Patricia Lauer Guzik.
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