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When Pat Holland first met his future wife. Donna Lee, who was known by her childhood nickname “Pitter," she owned a German Sheppard named Ob-la-di.
Pat chuckles at the memory of the canine’s moniker, “Yes, she was named for the Beatles tune," he confirms, “Every time the dog heard the song she would start howling as if singing along.”
Shortly after Ob-la-di passed on, Pat was at a friend’s home who bred Labs, and one of the puppies came over and untied his shoes. It was love at first lace. Pitter wasn’t eager to have another dog, but when Pat brought him home, she caved. Their new housemate was named Omar, after Omar Vizquel, the Cleveland Indians’ shortstop.
Some of our walks lasted several hours. Those times were such a pleasant part of our lives, rich with conversation.
“Pitter and I would walk Omar through Lake View on a regular basis.” Pat remembers affectionately the hours spent discovering the cemetery together. “Some of our walks lasted several hours. Those times were such a pleasant part of our lives, rich with conversation. Lake View is a walking history of Cleveland. I’m originally from Chicago, but having studied history at John Carroll University, I was interested in the notable names. Pitter, being native to Cleveland, could fill in the blanks for me on local history. And Omar just wanted to see everything.”
When Pitter passed away in 2019, there was no question that her final resting place would be at Lake View. Pat explored different sites before settling on a glass niche at the Community Mausoleum. “Several years of Pitter’s career were spent as a manager of apartment buildings.” Pat explains the significance of the niche’s location. “She was the quintessential landlord, forming long-term friendships with former tenants. I knew she would want a clear view of the front door so she could keep an eye on who was coming and going into the building.”
Pat will also have residency here, some day. He recently made a planned gift to Lake View to ensure the stability of his future home. “I’ve been to other cemeteries around the country and the conditions are pretty sad,” Pat shares candidly. “In the 50 years I have been visiting Lake View it has always been beautiful.”
He pauses for a moment of reflection. “I find it comforting to know when I’m gone, even if I won’t be aware of it, I have helped in some way to preserve the beauty of Lake View for future generations. Not only for the people who rest here but for those who visit.”
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