Pat grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and received her college degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After graduation, she went to Washington D. C. to work for Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. and worked with him for 18 years - including the Watergate Years when she was Chief of Staff. After the Senator retired, she worked for two years with General Foods Corporation, and then began working with Governor Jim Hunt in a Washington, D. C. Office for the State of North Carolina for 8 years. It was then time to return to North Carolina to work with R. J. Reynolds in Government Relations. After 14 years, she decided to retire and spend time working with nonprofits. She served as an early chair of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and has not been too removed from BRPF activities since then!