Patrice Lynn

Patrice Lynn knew Spokane was home when she discovered her namesake was born here.

The day she arrived, Patrice chatted with a woman at church. When Patrice told the woman her name, the woman’s eyes brightened. “Like Patrice Munsel, the opera star?” the woman said. “You know, she was born in Spokane.”

“I thought, ‘This is home,’” Patrice says now, still stunned by the coincidence.

“The person you are named after - to move to a town and find out she’s from here, how great is that?”

From Patrice’s perspective, it’s only improved since her move here in November 2005 from Bend, Ore.

She bought an ActionCoach business coaching franchise. She bought a fixer upper in West Central near the Kendall Yards project. She made friends at church and on mountain bike rides.

She even looked up Munsel online, sent her an e-mail and got a response from the former Metropolitan Opera singer the next day. “I can’t tell you the feeling it gave me,” Patrice says, adding that her parents were fans of the singer’s late 1950s TV show, “The Patrice Munsel Show.”

Why Spokane?

Before moving here, Patrice made several trips to Healing Room Ministries in Spokane. She fell in love with the area, she says.

“It has that big-city feel, but it’s still so close to nature,” she says. “And very friendly.”

She’s lived in the Northwest for years, including Montana and Oregon. While Bend was lovely, she wanted to live in a bigger city. She wanted a better gardening locale – Bend has long, cold winters, she adds. She wanted to be close to ski and mountain-bike trails.

And as a committed Christian, she liked Spokane’s conservative style.

Spokane “is stable and conservative, but a friendly town,” she says.

Real estate

Patrice knew the qualities she wanted when she started looking for a house: An older home near the river and downtown. An automatic garage door. Air conditioning. A garden that already had raspberries or a grape vine.

On her third day here, she found the perfect home, and it had “very prolific raspberry bushes and an irrigation system,” she says.

The four-bedroom, Tudor-style house needed work, and she embraced the challenge. She stripped the hardwood floors. She sheet-rocked the ceilings. She painted the walls in shades such as “applesauce cake,” “glazed pear” and “precious stone.”

And while she’s hired out most of the work, she says she’s done a “few things here and there. I love to decorate.”

She has yet to start on the outside, but her plans are ambitious. “It has aluminum siding,” she says. “I’d like stone or stucco.”

Building community

Shortly after moving here, Patrice went for a mountain bike ride in Riverside State Park. Outside a restroom, she stopped to chat with a woman about the terrain. The woman asked Patrice to join her and five other women on their ride. Now, the group, which calls itself “The Pink Label Society,” rides together each Monday evening during spring and summer months.

Patrice also belongs to the Rotary Club and her church singles group.

“Things have been falling into place quite well,” she says.

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