Floral 11

Patsy L. Wilkins

October 10, 1936 ~ September 30, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Patsy L. Wilkins Obituary


Patsy L. Wilkins, of Waynesboro and Columbus, Mississippi, died peacefully at Bethany House in Auburn, Alabama, on September 30, 2023. She was 86 years old.

She was born Patsy Louise Lee on October 10, 1936, in Wayne County, Mississippi. She was the youngest daughter and the second-youngest child of Mary Louise Brunson Lee and James Rufus Lee. After graduating high school in Wayne County, she began working at Watkins Department Store on Station Street in Waynesboro, which was owned and operated by her oldest sister and her husband, Vernon and Robert Watkins. It was during this time that she met Joe Wilkins, a young man who owned a radio and television shop. They fell in love and were married at First Baptist Church in Waynesboro on July 27, 1958.

During the early years of their marriage, they moved about a bit as Joe had joined the United States Air Force. After the birth of their daughter, and later, after Joe’s service in the Air Force, they settled in Columbus, Mississippi, a town that they had grown to appreciate while they were stationed at Columbus Air Force Base. Over the years their home was a place that hosted rambunctious nieces and nephews as well as neighborhood children, and several college exchange students from Hong Kong who were studying at Mississippi State College for Women.

They enjoyed many happy years in Columbus and made many wonderful friends. Patsy was a member of East End Baptist Church, where she enjoyed a lively women’s Sunday School group. For a time, she was a member of Bethel Baptist Church, where she enjoyed teaching preschool Sunday school. She was a lifelong Baptist.

In the early 1980’s, she and Joe opened Country Collections, which they later renamed Pitty- Pat’s, a gift and decorative accessories shop which they ran until 2011. Pitty-Pat’s was a source of great enjoyment for Patsy, not only because of her love for beautiful things but also because she enjoyed meeting new customers. Over the years, many of these customers became treasured friends.

Aside from Pitty-Pat’s, Patsy enjoyed cooking – and not just any kind of cooking but good, old-fashioned Southern cooking. She loved going to farmer’s markets to buy the best and freshest produce. In her younger days, she gardened and grew a lot of the food she cooked, so that even in winter, she would serve summer-fresh vegetables because of her industrious canning and freezing. She read cookbooks as voraciously as others read novels. If she cooked for you and fed you, she loved you. Her specialties were fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, fried green tomatoes, and cornbread dressing that her daughter has tried and sadly has not been able to replicate. Whenever her grandchildren, Gabe and Eliza, came for a visit, she would let them each choose what they wanted her to cook for them, right down to the dessert.

After a series of illnesses, Patsy and Joe relocated to Auburn, Alabama, where their daughter and her family live. They made many new friends at Monarch Estates, their retirement living community.

Patsy is survived by Joe, her husband of 65 years; their daughter, Tamara Lee “Lee” Wilkins; daughter-in-law Nan Fairley; granddaughter Eliza Faith Wilkins, all of Auburn, Alabama; grandson Gabriel Eugene Fairley of Birmingham, Alabama; brother John Carl “Buddy” Lee and sister-in-law Billie Lee, of Waynesboro; and many much-loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and James Rufus Lee; sisters Audrey Elizabeth Lee, Vernon Watkins, and Nell Jones; and brothers James Roscoe “JR” Lee and Max L. Lee.

Visitation will be on October 9, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Freeman Funeral Home in Waynesboro, Mississippi, with a service to follow in the chapel at 11 a.m. Dr. Steve Smith of First Baptist Church, Waynesboro, will officiate. Burial will follow at Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery. Flowers are accepted; however, if preferred, donations may be made to your local food bank in Patsy’s memory.

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October 9, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Freeman Funeral Home Waynesboro Chapel
P. O. Box 387 1305 Skyland Drive
Waynesboro, MS 39367

Funeral Service
October 9, 2023

11:00 AM
Freeman Funeral Home Waynesboro Chapel
P. O. Box 387 1305 Skyland Drive
Waynesboro, MS 39367

Interment following funeral service
October 9, 2023

Mt. Zion Cemetery, Waynesboro


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