Patricia “Pat” Francis Morrison (nee Padgett), of Saint Peters, Missouri, passed away on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at the age of 79.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and raised as the youngest of six children in Tulsa, Pat was a naturally gifted student and wanted to attend college. According to Pat, in the early 1960s, book-smart young ladies in Oklahoma seeking a college education had two options, they could study to become teachers or nurses. Because she fainted at the sight of blood, she chose teaching. Pat’s high school guidance counselor viewed her available choices even more narrowly and refused to sign off on her student loan application, reasoning that there was no need for her to take out loans when she would most likely drop out to get married and have children. Undeterred, Pat got her father, Victor Padgett, to co-sign her college loans, earned a teaching degree, and took a teaching position in Kansas City, Kansas. Not only did Pat not drop out of college, while teaching she also earned two graduate degrees; a master’s degree and a specialist’s degree in education. Thankfully, Pat finished things she started.
After teaching in Kansas City for two years, Pat began teaching fifth grade at Norfleet Elementary, a public school in Raytown, Missouri. She loved teaching fifth graders and taught there for three decades. By the end of her career, she regularly taught children whose parents had once been her students. In 1987, the Missouri Council for the Social Studies named her its Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Thankfully, Pat could not handle the sight of blood.
Shortly after college, Pat met and married Robert Morrison. They were married for 52 years before he passed in 2020. They were avid swing and ballroom dancers, and were active in local dance clubs for several decades. Pat also helped Bob, who was a poor student in high school, complete a college degree in his 30s. Thankfully, Bob married a teacher.
Pat also had one child, Jeff Morrison. Jeff proved a poor, undisciplined student that did not really “get reading” and likely would have “Huck Finn’d” his way through life. But he quickly learned that his mother’s strong will and dedication to education would not allow him to rest in his natural slacker and slothful tendencies. Eventually, she taught him better study habits, and he finished college and law school. He has spent most of his career as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Thankfully, Jeff was a teacher’s kid.
After Pat retired, she and Bob moved to St. Peters, Missouri (where Jeff was then practicing law) in order to spend more time with her grandsons, Josh and Ben Morrison. A third grandson, Luke, soon arrived and she happily spent her retirement focused on being a grandmother. She also satisfied her lifelong passion for teaching history by researching and cataloging her family’s genealogy, and serving as her extended family’s resident historian and lore keeper. Thankfully, Pat loved family above all.
Over a long life, Pat taught a lot of people. She long credited her guidance counselor’s doubts about her finishing her degree as her motivation. Thankfully, Pat did not listen to her high school guidance counselor.
Services: The family is being served by Baue Funeral Home. Graveside Service will be held Saturday, February 18, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at St. Charles Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association.