Patricia Ann Elder
Patricia Ann Elder
  • August 17, 1930 - December 17, 2017
  • Fairfax, Virginia

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On December 16, 2017, Patricia Ann Elder "Pat", passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by family and friends, at the age of 87.
Pat was born on August 30, 1930, in Picher, Oklahoma to the late George and Leona Yates. The family subsequently moved to Michigan, where they settled in the town of Breckenridge. Pat graduated from Breckenridge High School.. After graduation, Pat moved to Detroit to work for the local phone company, as a phone company operator. She was subsequently hired by Capital Airlines in 1952, and was stationed at the Midland/Bay City/Saginaw airport, where she worked as a Ticket Agent. It is during this time that she met her husband, who was also working for the airline as a Radio Engineer, and flew thru the area often. She married William "Bill" Elder on February 19, 1954, in the chapel at Alma College. She relocated to Arlington, Virginia after her marriage, and continued to work for Capital Airlines, which was purchased by United Airlines. Pat worked on what United called the Mainliner Desk, which handled travel reservations for members of Congress, as well as many of the larger companies of the day. Her career with Capital/ United Airlines spanned 35 years, until her retirement in 1985.
Pat enjoyed traveling, and benefitted from the generous travel perks available to her due to her employment with the airlines. She and her husband, and later her Son, explored many locations around the world, and were able to visit family around the country freely due to these benefits.
Pat loved to cook, which was a talent learned from her mother. Particularly memorable were the Christmas cookie baking marathons, where she would bake dozens of cookies, giving them as Holiday gifts, even sending cookies to her nephew while he was in Vietnam during the war. Her collection of cookbooks, and boxes full of clipped and handwritten recipes serve as a testament to her love of being in the kitchen.
Pat was a member of Fairfax Circle Baptist Church for many years, and afterwards transferred to Calvary Hill Baptist Church. She was active in both churches, assisting in teaching Sunday School classes, and volunteering in many church activities.
After retirement, she enjoyed working in her garden, volunteering with her church, and being a member of the Red Hat Ladies organization, where she made many new friends. However, the time Pat looked forward to the most, was their winter home in Arizona. Pat looked forward each year to leaving the harsh winter on the East Coast, and spending her time in the relative warmth of an Arizona winter, surrounded by a new group of friends, and drinking fresh squeezed juice from the fruit on the trees right outside their door.
Pat is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, William "Bill" Elder, her Son Thomas "Tom" Elder, sister Jayne Anderson, many nieces and nephews, and extended family. Her sisters and brother preceded her in death. The family is particularly grateful to niece, Renee Brawner, who put her personal life on hold, traveling from North Carolina, to assist in caring for her Aunt during her final days.