Patricia Tatum

Patricia Ann Johnson Tatum, 77, of Greenbank, died April 20, 2003.

She was born Feb. 12, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minn., to John Walter and Agnes McDonnell Johnson, the second of four daughters.

She grew up in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and enjoyed ice skating in the homemade rinks her father built in their yard. She became an accomplished figure skater.

She graduated from St. John’s Academy in Jamestown, N.D., and she attended nursing school at Saint Alexis Hospital Nursing School under the Cadet Nurse Corps Program and earned her degree as a Registered Nurse.

Shortly after obtaining her degree, she served as nurse in a doctor’s office in Ada, Minn., assisting the doctor with house calls and performing surgery. During the polio outbreak in the late 1940s and early 1950s she traveled with the American Red Cross in Texas, Minnesota and North Carolina, working with polio victims confined to iron lung machines.

On a visit to North Carolina and the home of one of her co-workers, Annie Tatum, she met her husband-to-be, Lennon Ayrs Tatum III. They were married in February 1951, and lived in Charlotte and then Durham, N.C. In 1954 they moved to Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

She resumed her career in nursing in the early 1960s and was the first director of nurses for the New Beaches Hospital in South Jacksonville Beach. She served that hospital until 1974, when she moved to Gainesville, Ga., where she worked in a variety of nursing capacities until retiring in 1991.

She was a lifelong devout Roman Catholic and was a member of St. Hubert Catholic Church, Langley. In retirement she was a member of the Young Ladies Institute and a volunteer member of the South Whidbey Senior Citizens Center, where she helped serve meals to seniors.

Pat was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; a stepfather, Edwin Vesser; a sister, Dorothy; and a niece, Cordelia McMinn.

She is survived by children Lennon A. Tatum IV of Texas; Cindy Morga and Timothy Tatum of Georgia; sisters Jeanne Langer of Arizona and Mary “Judy” Hanna of Washington; grandchildren Chip Tatum, Megan Morgan, Timothy Tatum Jr., Benjamin Morgan, Lacey Tatum, Laura Ann Tatum and Israel Tatum; stepgrandsons Kevin and Cliff Sanchez; and great-grandchildren Alex and Analisa Sanchez and Destin Tatum. In addition, she is survived by nieces and nephews Rodney Langer Jr. of Everett, Rose Wisner of Newcastle, Colleen Vail of Elma, Joe Colter of Aberdeen, Mary Hubbel of Orange, Calif., John Langer of Gilbert, Ariz., and Cassie Colter of New Jersey.

The Rev. Gorgio Silagan of St. Hubert Catholic Church presided at all services held April 23.

Memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Catholic Community Services organization, or a charity of choice.

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