Obituary of Patsy Ann Washington
Patsy Ann Washington was born on August 28, 1947, in Houston,Texas to Charlotte (Lastee) and James Samuel. She was the 2nd child (older sister Carol (Samuel) Taylor and a younger brother Glen Samuel, both of Houston, Texas). Patsy graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, Texas. Patsy received her Bachelor’s Degree (Biology) in 1968from Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX). She was an active member of the Kappa Omicron Beta (KOB) Service Sorority where she served as the Dean of Pledges her senior year. While working at North Forest - an Independent School District (HISD) in Houston as a Science teacher, Patsy returned to Prairie View and completed the academic requirements for a Master’s Degree in Counselling and Guidance.
Patsy worked for 3 years in North Forest HISD, and then accepted the proposal of marriage from her college “sweet-heart” Alvin “Chip” Washington who was a 1st Lieutenant in the United Sates Army stationed in Okinawa, Japan. On 12 July 1972, 1stLT Alvin Washington and Patsy Samuel were married in the Post Chapel in Okuma, Okinawa. Two weeks later when duty assignments permitted, they honeymooned in the US Province of Hong Kong. Patsy was later selected to serve as a Guidance Counselor at the Fort Buckner High School. This assignment was the beginning of Patsy’s career in the FederalGovernment as a Civil Servant with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA). During this assignment, Chip and Patsy were able to travel to Bangkok, Taiwan and make a return trip to Hong Kong.
Upon their return to the US, the couple was assigned to Fort Bliss Army Post in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso, Patsy worked for the Ysleta Independent School District as a Guidance Counselor. Three years later, Chip was assigned to an unaccompanied tour in South Korea for 12 months. Patsy remained in El Paso. During this assignment, Patsy worked very hard to do everything possible to support Chip. Upon the completion of Chip’s tour in South Korea, they volunteered to go directly to Europe. Chip was assigned as an Army Battalion Operations Officer at Ramstein Air Force Base in West Germany. This assignment required a great deal of time in the field on maneuvers; then returning to home station and recovering and cleaning all the track vehicles and equipment in preparation for the next deployment. All this was done while maintaining a war-time mission of defending a critical airbase. However, Patsy did not let this get her down.
She emersed herself in the architecture, food, castles, fashions, textiles/fabrics, flowers, museums/art and customs of the European people. Patsy and Chip were truly blessed to have their best friends also assigned to Germany…Richard and Betty Lockett who were stationed in Munich, Germany (about 3.5 hours away). They had gone to college with Richard (who was now an OBGYN doctor) and had linked up with them through their assignment in El Paso while they were there. Richard, Betty and Patsy went everywhere together. Chip returned home from maneuvers and there was a note on the kitchen table saying, “I am in Tunisia with Richard and Betty. I will be home in 3 days. Love, Patsy.” Richard and Betty had signed up for a trip to North Africa and Patsy joined them. On another occasion Chip came home from the field and Patsy had taken the train from K-Town to Munich to visit with Richard and Betty. This woman was fearless and very independent. They also reestablished a treasured relationship with Zie and LorettaRivers (they had attended the same high school with Chip). The Rivers’ proved invaluable in Chip’s later transition from the Army to corporate America. Their paths would cross many times throughout this journey. There was great joy when Patsy was selected for a position in the Education Center of the Baumholder US Army Garrison. Patsy thoroughly enjoyed working in the Education Center helping soldiers complete and achieve their educational goals. Despite their grueling schedule and “passing each other like ships in the night,” Chip and Patsy had an immensely successful and gratifying European tour. During this assignment, they had the opportunity to travel to Rome/Venice, Strasburg, Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, and the Greek Islands.
Chip was selected to attend the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA and while there, Patsy secured a staff position in the Army Material Command (AMC) in Alexandria, VA. At AMC Patsy met and established a dear friendship with Bertha Edwardswho proved to be a trusted friend and an incredible resource. Shortly after her AMC assignment, Patsy obtained a Human Resource position in the Pentagon. This was the point in Patsy’s life when she met Carmen (Mayes) Montgomery who would become her life-long friend, trusted companion, and confidant. Patsy enjoyed the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area very much. She was in a very happy place there. At this point in Chip’s career, he was selected to command a battalion in Europe. He was totally ecstatic and over-joyed, but Patsy was not at all happy about leaving the career that she had built to follow him to Germany. Chip explained that this opportunity was what he had trained his whole military career to do. He stressed it would be career suicide to decline this opportunity. Night after night there were heated conversations about this move, when finally, the position was taken that Chip was going to take the command and Patsy was going to remain in theirAlexandria, VA townhouse. Both parties regretted that decision to this day, but two strong willed personalities chose to put careers before all else. At the completion of the 2-year command, Chip was assigned to a 2-year War Collegefellowship (Advanced Operational Studies Fellowship – AOSF)in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following the AOSF (School of Advanced Military Science) assignment, Chip was assigned as the Deputy Commander, III Corps (Forward) in Maastricht, The Netherlands (Holland) to direct war-time European planning efforts for III Corps.
Patsy travelled to Holland, and along with Chip took advantage of the opportunity to revisit and say good-bye to Paris, her beloved city. But Patsy also discovered and became fascinated with Brussels, Belgium with its old-world charm, delightful beers, warm-hearted people, delicious foods,and stately architecture. At the completion of service in Holland, Chip was assigned to the Washington, D.C. as the Deputy Chief of Staff – Personnel for the Military District of Washington, D.C. Chip and Patsy would finally be united and live in the same place and same house together. Because of tremendous individual growth by each party, two strong personalities failed to find common ground on many life issues once again. However, a bonus with this position, Patsy was able to travel with Chip on two occasions to Hawaii and they had wonderful times with Willie and Nancy Higa, dear friends who they knew in Germany. Each of these trips were so special and the best time ever.
Chip and Patsy made the decision to leave the Army and resign his commission of service in June 1993. After 23 years of military service and achieving the rank of Colonel it had been a tremendous journey, but based on current realities, it was the right decision. Chip accepted a director position with MCI Telecommunications, which he obtained with the help of their dear friend Zie Rivers. They were relocated to Plano, TX where Patsy set out to build her dream home. The builder, foremen,and contractors all aged 10 years dealing with all of Patsy’s design ideas and change-orders. She struck out with her hard hat and work boots. The completed project was magnificent and well worth the effort. Many of their friends and family members had the opportunity to come and visit…Carmen, Patsy’s roomies from college (Paula, Helen, and Joyce), Dick Lowell, Zie (who I worked for at MCI) Chip’s brothers (Ted and Robert) and many others.
After four years, MCI moved in a different direction and Chip put a resume on the street and with the help of their dear friends, Zie and Loretta, joined Ameritech Telecommunications in Chicago, IL. Rather than live in Chicago, the Washington’schose to live in the western suburb of Chicago called Aurora, IL. Once again Patsy had the opportunity to implement her design ideas in completing the house that they selected. She had learned many lessons in the Plano project, and she made some excellent additions/changes in this new home.
Patsy joined Marshall Fields (later purchased by Macy’s) as a Furniture Consultant/Salesperson. Shortly thereafter, Patsy set her sights on becoming an Interior Designer and earned an associate degree in Design at DuPage College (Wheaton, IL). The competitive field of retail and interior design really appeared to be invigorating to Patsy. She researched and approached each design project as if it was her most important project and exhibited true joy to give it her undivided attention and expertise. She worked tirelessly and established a thriving clientele and reputation. She proved to be an extraordinary talent and a greatly called upon team member of Macy’s Design Studio in Oakbrook, IL. Patsy worked as an Interior Designer at Macy’s for 17 years. There is not one person who was exposed to Patsy’s talent of interior design that was left untouched by her gift and the beauty of the decorum of their homes.
One of her interior design clients was Pastor and Mrs. SmokyNorful. Pastor Norful was the Senior Pastor of Victory Cathedral, Bolingbrook, Illinois. Victory Cathedral became the Washington’s church home. Patsy and Pastor Norful had numerous discussions concerning her faith and this became a major influence on Patsy’s spiritual life. During this time, Patsy reaffirmed her life to Christ and became an active member of Victory Cathedral Worship Center. She enjoyed immensely attending worship services at the church for over 5 years.
Patsy’s final life challenge was with dementia. She bravely approached the challenge and in her normal strong-willed manner, she set out to deal with it on her own terms. She labored continuously to properly manage her exercise regiment, diet, medication, doctors’ instructions, and positive attitude. Despite all these dedicated efforts, the disease overtook her with extreme weight loss and aggressively affecting the mind. At every stage, she had the best professional care possible. Finally,after consultation with all doctors and nursing staff, the decision was made that Patsy required continuous professional care and should be placed under palliative/hospice care. She was placed in a highly rated assisted living environment (Abundant Love and Care) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This home environment was perfect as it had similar features to both recent homes that Patsy custom built and lived in over the last 20 years. Her final days were enjoyable and peaceful. Patsy had many friends who came and visited her…there were many “good” days in between dealing with effects the disease.
Dementia and Alzheimer diseases are tough—and Patsy championed this battle with valor, spunk, and courage until GOD saw fit to call her home. On Sunday, July 17, 2022, Patsy Ann Washington departed this life at the age of 74. Carmen was by her side and Chip and Carol had talked with her earlier that morning. She left peacefully knowing that she had accomplished all that she set out to do, to leave behind her legacy of love, charity, and having touched the lives of so manyin a very positive way. We are thankful for the life of our beautiful and vivacious Patsy, as she lived an abundant life. No more sickness and no more pain. Because GOD opened the pearly gates and called her home, heaven gained yet another beautiful Angel to dwell in the heavenly kingdom with the most high.
She will be missed and very fondly remembered. Patsy leaves behind Carol Samuels (Sister), Glen Samuels (Brother), Carmen Montgomery (Best Friend/Confidant/Legal Guardian), Richard Lowell (Dear Friend/Financial Advisor), Alvin “Chip” Washington (Ex-Husband/Best Friend), Christa Bynum (Cousin/Dear Friend), Mary Guidry (Cousin), Linda Woodstock (Cousin), Betty Bancroft (Cousin), Raphael Lastee (Cousin), Nicole Robinson (Niece), Michael and Sherri Hallmon (Special Friends) and a host of great nieces, nephews, cousins, and other close relatives and many enduring/cherished friends. Preceding her in death were Ms. Charlotte Samuel (mother) and James Samuel (father).
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