Tommie (Featherstone) Pattat, 88, a mother, a sister, a devoted wife of 69 years, a grandmother and a Mimi, departed this life Friday morning, May 1, 2020 at Saint Francis Hospital – Bartlett.
Tommie was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother whose love for her family knew no bounds. Birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments in the Pattat household were celebrated as if they were a national holiday. The pride on Tommie’s face was equal to the joy she felt each Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July. She always knew what to say and she was witty. Her words sometimes came with a bite, but usually out of love or concern.
Tommie was a lady who appreciated the finer things in life. She often had a furniture delivery scheduled or a Goldsmith’s bag in hand, usually full of things for the kids or grandkids she adored. She had a dramatic beginning. Born on March 12, 1932, in Maydee, Tennessee, an agricultural island in the Mississippi River that would sink in a flood just five years later. Tommie then survived Typhoid fever, and later in life would make a miraculous recovery from a stroke.
She met Billy at the tender age of 14. He was 16. Their love story would span 69 years, beginning in 1946 when Billy saw Tommie in the backseat of her aunt and uncle’s car. He’ll never forget seeing her in that yellow dress with the roosters on it. Through their marriage, they would recite the Doris Day song “A Bushel and a Peck” to each other before they went to bed. One would say, “I love you a bushel and a peck,” and the other would answer back with, “and a hug around the neck.”
Though sometimes hesitant to go, Tommie led an adventurous life marrying a man who would become a retired senior master sergeant in the United States Air Force. The military first took her on a cross country journey to San Francisco, California when she married Billy in 1951. Her service as a military wife would take her to Savannah, Georgia; Tokyo Japan, where her fear of flying began and her second son Steve was born (he has yet to act on his dual citizenship); San Antonio, Texas, where she became a local celebrity for delivering the first set of twins at the new hospital on base; and to the tropical islands of Hawaii. Her sacrifice as a military wife would separate her from her family for 20 years. During the Korean War, she was separated from her own husband, coming back home to raise their first child Bill for the first year of his life.
After Billy retired, Tommie returned home. She finished raising her children in Bartlett, Tennessee and in 1990 built a home with her husband on Hebron Drive, her two sons living with their families on either side. She became an entrepreneur running the Pattat Quick Stop alongside her husband Billy, where they made many friends and memories. Her children again became the center of her life, going on vacations together to visit her daughter Laura in Florida or meeting with all the grandchildren on her and Billy’s 50th wedding anniversary in Gatlinburg.
Tommie has now been reunited with God and her parents she loved dearly, Pearl (Crumley) and Charles Craig Featherstone, her beloved brother C.W. “Wimp” Featherstone and her aunt Erma Beake, who she often talked to on the phone. Her memory will be cherished by the ones she leaves behind – her husband Billy Pattat, four children Bill (Alice) Pattat, Steve (Gina) Pattat, Laura (Barry) Brandon and Linda (Paul) Corbet, four grandchildren Jennifer (Jeremy) Hawkins, Will (Madeleine) Pattat, Michelle (Ben) Corbet and Audrey (Tanner) Elliott, three great grandchildren Kaelin and Jakob Hawkins and Audrey Rose Pattat; her sisters Laura Carraway and Bonnie Featherstone; and her brothers Jerry (Judy) Featherstone Sr. and Terry Featherstone.
Tommie was laid to rest in a graveside service with immediate family Monday, May 4, 2020 at the Hebron Cemetery in the Bethlehem Community. The family looks forward remembering Tommie at a celebration of life to be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Tommie’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959, a cause that was close to her heart and she contributed to for many years.
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