Chesapeake- Patricia Ann Torrence King, 77, passed away peacefully early Saturday morning, September 7, 2019. She was surrounded by her immediate family while having her hand held as she just quietly drifted away.
Pat was born in Norfolk on January 3, 1942 to Harold and Laura (Mollie) Torrence a few weeks after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor at which time her Father, a Navy chief, was called to war in the Pacific. She attended Norfolk schools and graduated with honors from Maury High School, Class of ‘60. Left to cherish her memories are her husband of 58 years, James (Jim); Two daughters, Laura Hughes (Herb) and Michelle Jones (Joe); Four Granddaughters, One Great Granddaughter and one Great Grandson; Three Sisters, Jean Duncan, Vickie Dickerson and Debbie Torrence.
All during the early school years of her children, Pat was very active in PTA affairs and her leadership proved invaluable. She was credited with having started a program to teach children to swim as they entered the fourth grade. Among other positions, Pat was President of the Indian River High School PTA. As her children advanced in age she began to try several interesting sidelines. Among them she had her own wig business and was even a Disc Jockey at a local Navy Enlisted Men’s Club. She was a member of the Aquarinas Precision Swim Team and a certified SCUBA diver. She attended The John Robert Powers Model Agency taking courses in modeling and finishing.
When ‘Ma Bell’s’ monopoly on the telephone business was broken up she went to work with an upstart independent telecommunications company called ‘Jarvis’. Seemingly, the company was taken in by another company called ‘ROLM’. Then IBM and finally Siemens Corporation. She started out with Jarvis as a Customer Support Representative, was promoted to Project Manager and retired from Siemens as a Regional Sales Manager. She was thought of as “breaking the mold” since most of the managerial positions in the telecommunications business were men. Because of her hard work she received the award for 1980 Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year. She was one of seven nominated for that award. After retirement from Siemens she tried her hand at being a travel agent for Shoreline Travel Agency. She, her family and many friends and associates enjoyed wonderful cruises and trips together in so many interesting destinations such as a trip through the Panama Canal and a late season cruise through the Inside Passage to Alaska and beyond. One unusual trip was the maiden voyage of a cruise ship from the same pier that the Titanic got underway from on her maiden voyage. This time we made it home and enjoyed other ports as well such as Gibraltar, Spain and Portugal. Tagging along on her many FAM trips was just as much fun as all the exotic places she has taken her family.
Pat was a member of The Virginia Senior America Cameo Club and participated in the Ms. Senior America Pageant which recognizes women who have reached ‘the age of elegance.’ In 2003 Pat placed first runner-up which is quite an accomplishment under the existing circumstances at that time. Pat was also a charter member of The Optimist Club of Greenbrier in Chesapeake which was part of the Capital District where she served in a variety of key positions, notably as Secretary-Treasurer of The Capital District.
These are just a sprinklings of Pat’s many accomplishments and adventures. Perhaps you can think of more as we casually celebrate her life at The Church of the Holy Family on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM. The Church is located at 1279 N Great Neck Rd. in Virginia Beach. Please come as you are. In lieu of flowers please use this opportunity to contribute to the Alzheimer Association in any way possible. Pat’s family would like to thank Chesapeake Place Memory Care Center for taking care of her for so many years and a special thanks to the excellent hospice care so professionally provided by Interim HealthCare’s Machelle Spear and to Diana Clukey who went above and beyond to keep Pat comfortable and in keeping the family informed as time grew short. Pat’s Sister-in-law, Suzy King, kept her hair cut and combed during the entire illness. Pat’s Daughter Michelle devoted many days and hours to making sure that her Mother’s hair was washed and combed out and supplied suitable clothes to maintain her integrity during this harrowing time. Obviously there are so many other people to thank for what they did over the past few years regarding concerns for Pat and her family.