Patricia Elnora Marshall Hayden peacefully passed away on Monday, August 16, 2021, at the age of 69, surrounded by her children and family. Patricia was born on October 23, 1951, to Senior Chief Petty Officer (Retired) Robert P. “Bob” Marshall and Elnor Nerie Marshall in Pensacola, Florida.
Known by so many as “Ms. Pat,” “Patti,” or “Namma,” Patricia lived the life in which we are called to do so in Christ Jesus because she loved without boundaries in all stages of life no matter her personal circumstances. She was very proud to label herself a “military brat” who settled in the Gainesville, FL area after her father retired from the US Navy. She graduated from Gainesville High School in 1969 (one year after Tom Petty, she always said) and she later graduated from Lake City Community College in 1978 with an Associate of the Arts Degree.
In 1980, Patricia started her career as a secretary and administrative assistant in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida where she assisted Mary Harrison in producing vital publications and extension program enhancements in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences.
In 1992, Patricia took a promotion to be the PBS WUFT (Channel 5) Station secretary in the UF College of Journalism until 2009 completing over 25 years of service to the University of Florida. During her time at WUFT, Patricia was instrumental in coordinating the local National Reading Rainbow Contest in the Gainesville area for many years and was so proud of sending many contestant winners to compete at the national level.
Following her retirement from the University of Florida, Patricia helped to raise her grandchildren as she served as the School Nurse at Lake Butler Middle School from August of 2011 until February 2017 when she was able to become the Union County High School Virtual Lab Facilitator. Patricia planned on retiring from Union County High School in June of 2022 and moving to Charleston, South Carolina to enjoy retirement where Narie and Bobby live.
In all of this, Patricia loved intensely. She was passionate about providing her children a stable home and gave them the greatest example of how to live through adversity and trials with respect, hard work, and dedication to her faith in Christ. Patricia fervently listened and adhered to the words of Jesus in John 15:12 when He said, “This is my commandment to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Patricia is ultimately one who epitomizes Proverbs 31:28-29. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”
Patricia is preceded in death by her parents and husbands Martin J. Hayden and Terry Durden, Sr. while she is survived by her children, Dr. John Wayne (Shari) Wilkerson, Jacob (Tammy) Wilkerson, and Narie (Bobby) Gibson, and her 8 grandchildren. She is survived by her siblings, Glenda (Rob) Meagher, Jory Marshall, Eugenia Lyn (Randy) Wiggington, and Norman (Lynn) Waddle, Jr.
Patricia is also survived by the plethora of personally acquired family members and “extra grandchildren,” as she called them, she adopted in her heart because, as she would always say with a giant smile, “there is always room for one more.”
Please feel free to share in celebrating Patricia’s life and heaven going with all those who love her most on Sunday, September 5, 2021, at 4:00 pm in the Union County High School Auditorium in Lake Butler, Florida. Following the service, the ceremonial planting of a Magnolia tree at Union County High School will commence to honor and publicly memorialize her dedication to all the students and lives she enriched during her time in the Union County School System. A family reception will follow.
Additionally, we would like to request all attendees follow all applicable Covid-19 precautionary protocols. In light of this egregious illness being the ultimate cause of her death, her family asks you to fully respect wearing a mask, social distancing, and sanitization with humility and reverence, or, please do not attend.