All of five-foot-two-inches tall, little Patricia Anne Hendricks (Patti to most of us) came into this world on Christmas Day, 1951, in the city of Memphis, Tennessee. “I was born at 5 p.m., a perfect way to mess up a family gathering! So after 5 p.m., Momma always made a fuss over me. She’d say, ‘Ahh, it’s not Christmas anymore, it’s Patti Anne’s birthday,’” Patti says in her soft southern way. “She’d always hang on to one or two packages for the birthday celebration.” Patti was the middle child of Velma Lourene Shaw and Sanford Hendricks, both originally from the Birmingham, Alabama area.
Patti retired from the Division of Blind Services after 20 years of employment. She then went to work as a receptionist for Lighthouse of Central Florida. It was always a joy to hear that kind Southern voice on the other end of the phone. She had a way of making everyone feel very special.
Patti’s history and service to FCB is long and varied. It began in the late ‘70s with her beloved chapter, formerly Mid-Florida, now Greater Orlando Council of the Blind (GOCB). From there, she was asked to represent GOCB at the state level where she took on such duties as Education and Leadership Chair, Treasurer, facilitator for the First-Timers Seminar, and Editor of “The White Cane Bulletin.” She played a vital role in Florida’s hosting the national ACB convention in Orlando and tirelessly, never stopped wanting to lend a helping hand. Patti’s loyalty to FCB, GOCB and her friends was exemplary. She served through some pretty tough personal challenges, but wasn’t one to bemoan her situation.
In her life away from FCB, Patti loved collecting and caring for stray cats, reading (in braille), drawing braille pictures, building miniature doll houses, cooking, wine, jewelry and making people laugh. She could bring you up on the darkest of days, without seeming to even try.
Patti served as First Vice President of the Florida School for the Blind Alumni and faithfully attended gatherings there. Heaven only knows what other meaningful contributions she selflessly made. She was a whiz with a slate and stylus, a music lover and a true friend. Oh, how we in FCB will miss this soft-spoken, tender-hearted, generous, witty friend. What a lady, what a friend, what a teacher! Rest in peace, dear one, and know that your time here made a difference in the lives of many!
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ACB Angel Memorial Tribute - Patti Anne Land