Patricia L. “Pat” Whitesel, born on March 11, 1935, passed into the arms of Jesus on July 7, 2020 at the age of 85 in Bradenton, Florida. She was a coal-miner’s daughter born in Montgomery, West Virginia to Floyd and Clara Scaff and was one of nine children. After attending school in West Virginia, she moved to Ashland, Kentucky, where she met her husband, Don. After moving to Florida and later settling in Manatee County, Don and Pat started Concept One specializing in healthcare advertising. After retiring from Concept One, Pat became active in her community fulfilling her desire to serve others.
Elected to the Palmetto City Commission in 1992, she went on to become Mayor of the City of Palmetto for two terms from 1995-2001. She served as the Chair of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Commission and the Bradenton Beach Planning and Zoning Board. She was a long-time Rotarian and served on the boards of The Manatee Players and Tidewell Hospice among others.
She was a vibrant woman and full of life, earning her the nickname, “Flash,” for her unending, boundless energy. After taking up ballroom dancing, she and Don became avid dancers. They were also in the movie, ‘Palmetto” as extras. She pursued her passion for painting later in life. But, above all else, she considered her children as her greatest accomplishment.
She was preceded in death by her parents, beloved husband, Don; infant daughter, Rebecca; sisters Cora Belle, Marcella, and Iona; brothers Carl Edward and Marvin Palmer; step-daughter Betsy, and “Bandit.”
She is survived by her children, Rick Miles of Bradenton, Rita Marsh of Hull, GA, Robin Rockhold (Lawrence) of Reddington Beach, Rae Lynn Harmon (Greg) of Gainesville, GA, step-daughter, LaDonna Kessler (Jules) of Bradenton; sisters Clara Marie Cook (Lewis), Mary “Emmaline” Najpaer (Andy) and Gloria Hembree (Bob) all of Beverly Hills; and “Rosie.” She is also survived by 9 grandchildren, 12.5 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews as well as special friends, Eva Laukhuf and Tom Nammacher, and her "Mirabella family" who took such good care of her for which we are ever grateful.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a charity of your choice or to the Juvenile Diabetic Organization, The Manatee Players or Northwest Bradenton Baptist Church.
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