Patricia Adele Spivey Billingsley, 86, known as P-A-T, passed peacefully May 28th just eight months after her husband, Jimmy. She is again telling him what to do and what to wear.
Born in Dayton, TN to Warren and Edith (Boyd) Spivey, Pat arrived in Helena, AR at age three. Growing up in a big house on College Street, she developed a big personality, charming smile and infectious laugh. Central High School created life-long friendships. She left Agnes Scott College because she only passed Spanish and smoking.
She married "Tiger" in 1953, traveling to Air Force bases before settling in Helena where she brought her son, Frank, into her world in 1960. The family moved to Jacksonville, FL where her daughter, Kay, joined the family in 1962. Pat became known for bridge parties, cocktail hours, sun tanning and shopping at Pic ‘n Pay. The family left for Greenwood in 1965, then Birmingham in 1969 where Pat turned her kitchen into a Grand Central station for friends. Known for telling it like it is, she took on Real Estate always making the Million Dollar club. Unfortunately, she found houses she wanted so we moved a lot.
In 1993, Pat and Tiger retired to Helena rejoining all their High School friends. She orchestrated fabulous parties, shopping sprees (we should have all bought stock in Chico’s), road trips to football games, casinos and golf tournaments, and historical tours of Helena. Always volunteering, she loved her town and the First Presbyterian church.
Everything changes as we age, but not the person inside. Our mom encouraged us to see the best in people, to try our hardest, to move forward in bad times, accept truth, and that 'attitude is everything'. And Wendy’s makes a mean chicken sandwich.
Her brothers, Warren Jr and George Spivey, went before her. Those of us cherishing her memory include her son Franklin Patrick Billingsley (Kevin Gilliard), her daughter Sharon Kay Billingsley, her step-grandson Morgan Gilliard, her grandson James Alan Woods, her granddaughter Spivey Woods Wilson (Blake), and her great-grand twins Abigail and Daniel Wilson. Nieces, nephews, and friend after friend will never forget her. Any donations can be made to the Helena Museum of Phillips County, PO Box 38, Helena, AR 72342.
Services for P-A-T will be Wednesday June 9th at Roller-Citizens of West Helena starting with a 1pm visitation, 2pm service, 3pm graveside, and followed by a reception of F-U-N.